New surgery plans spark junction fears

The current Mendip Vale Medical Practice in Congresbury is deemed too small for long-term success.

The current Mendip Vale Medical Practice in Congresbury is deemed too small for long-term success. - Credit: Archant

A parish council says plans to build a new medical centre could risk joining up two North Somerset villages, while placing strain on a junction where ‘hundreds’ of accidents have previously taken place.

The Mendip Vale Medical Practice wants to build a new medical centre, serving Congresbury and Yatton, which could potentially be located at the old Roundtrees garden centre site in Smallway, in Congresbury.

Although Congresbury Parish Council says the service ‘needs’ to change, it also feels the location of the proposed site could add to problems at the junction of Smallway and the A370, which has seen hundreds of accidents in recent years.

Council clerk Liz Greaves told the Mercury: “The take (from parish councillors) is that change is needed and we appreciate that with all the new housing and everything else, the current service is not acceptable.

“But the issues are about if it goes at this site. How will people get there? The Smallway junction has hundreds of accidents with cars going to Yatton and there is no way to walk across it at that particular point. Therefore, that junction would have to be seriously looked at.

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“The other concern was the proposal to put a pharmacy within the surgery. There were concerns it might take away from the pharmacy in the village – but then, it might not.

“It is also in the strategic gap between the two villages. If you fill that gap, the villages become one.”

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According to the practice’s executive manager, David Clark, no definite site for the new practice has yet been confirmed and suggestions from villagers would be welcomed at a public consultation on August 11, at 7.30pm at the Hangstones Pavilion in Stowey Road, Yatton.

Mr Clark said: “There is no chosen site, the only option our business case has determined is that the current premises are not suitable for development or extension. With the growing demands on general practice the team wants to ensure the service is well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.

“We are working with our patients to make the new surgery the best possible and our Patient Participation Group (PPG) are also instrumental in steering potential outcomes.”

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