Mendip Vale proposal deferred as councillors call for ‘clarity’
PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:14 20 September 2018
Plans to build a medical centre between Congresbury and Yatton have been put on hold.
Mendip Vale Medical Practice’s plans for a surgery in Smallway, which would replace the villages’ smaller centres, went before North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee on September 12.
The plans were recommended for approval by planning officers, who stated in a report the centre would be ‘integral to the future of the health service in the district’.
But councillors decided to defer the item until its next meeting as they felt ‘more clarity’ was needed over issues such as access, parking and links to public transport.
Congresbury’s ward councillor Tom Leimdorfer said: “NHS funding has changed drastically in recent times, we now have two medical centres serving nine villages which I think is inadequate.
“If we are going to have a modern facility it has to be accessible to people driving or walking to and from the site.”
Cllr Jill Iles added: “We need more clarification on key issues surrounding road access and nowhere in the plans are details on how they will address the problems, they have not been resolved yet.”
Yatton Parish Council voted to oppose the proposals for a two-storey surgery opposite Cadbury Garden Centre, stating it ‘would permanently blight the landscape and visually harm the village entrances because of the open and sloping nature of the site and its surroundings’.
Revised proposals included relocating the building into the southern corner of the site, improving access arrangements and the building’s design to reflect the character of the landscape.
Cllr Chris Blades said: “The site is located within one of the busiest junctions in North Somerset.
“Unless adequate measures are made it is going to be impossible for people to get to.”
Samuel Johnson, representing Mendip Vale, said: “Surgeries have reached maximum capacity and are not suitable for modern day methods.
“People are living longer and the population is growing significantly and many practises are struggling to cope.
“Working from a single site improves patient experience.”
Earlier this year, Mendip Vale executive manager David Clark said he believes relocation is necessary due to rising patient numbers.