Multi-million-pound GP surgery moves step closer

Plans to build a £4.6million GP surgery to serve thousands of homes have taken a step forward.

Land and property arrangements have been approved by North Somerset Council's executive for a surgery to be built off Anson Road, in Locking Parklands.

The council is working in partnership with the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to develop health facilities to meet the needs of the Weston Villages development area, close to junction 21 of the M5, where around 6,500 homes and 10,000 jobs will be created over the next 10 years.

MORE: Talks between council and health chiefs over GP surgery for Locking Parklands.

Weston Villages includes two sites; Parklands Village on the former RAF Locking base and surrounding land and Haywood Village on the former Weston Airfield.

Cllr Ash Cartman, the council's executive member for finance and performance, said: "A high quality health facility and the new primary school which is being built at Parklands Village are positive incentives to bring new homeowners and attract businesses to the area."

The sites are part of the Junction 21 Enterprise Area where the authority has placed a strong emphasis on the delivery of jobs and infrastructure alongside housing.

The project involves the council designing and building the two-storey surgery on land which has been transferred from Homes England and developers St Modwen.

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The authority will retain ownership of the building and lease it to a CCG-nominated GP practice at a peppercorn rent.

Dr Martin Jones, the CCG's medical director, added: "We are really pleased with how this project is progressing and are working closely with the council to develop a business case for the new centre, which will be submitted to NHS England for approval in March.

"If the plans are approved, the healthcare centre will be a really exciting development for Weston, where improving and strengthening GP services is a high priority for the NHS locally.

"The new and innovative way we are funding this project, with the council owning the building and charging a nominal rent, secures good value for the taxpayer as well as providing a much-needed facility for Weston's growing population."