Clevedon healthcare facing 'dire times' as council refused Millcross appeal

PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 August 2017

Derelict land at Millcross in Clevedon.

Derelict land at Millcross in Clevedon.

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Health provision in Clevedon is facing 'dire times', according to a town councillor.

The council’s application to list land at Millcross as an asset of community value under the Community Right To Bid scheme was turned down by North Somerset Council earlier this year.

The district authority says the site, which had been earmarked for a new hospital, does not meet the required criteria as it has not been put to community use in the past 12 months.

Town councillors had hoped the land could have been retained for some kind of healthcare use, and are angry with the decision after also being told they are unable to appeal the ruling under current legislation.

Councillors have since suggested they could ask for a judicial review – although that is likely to be prohibitively expensive – or request North Somerset’s MP, Dr Liam Fox, to attempt to change the legislation.

Councillor David Shopland said: “We have only been told what we knew we were going to get.

“It is not land in general use, it has been earmarked for a particular use.

“There is only one way I feel we could possibly do anything with this. We could go to judicial review, but it would be an astronomical sum of money out of our scope.

“Our only way is to go through our MP and get the legislation amended.”

Plans for a new hospital on the land fell through in 2012 due to rising costs.

NHS Property Services is holding the land while North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) decides on its future, and there are still calls for the area to be used to provide an alternative healthcare facility of some kind.

Cllr Trevor Morgan said: “I am concerned about the future health provision in the town.

“I think a hospital should be back on the drawing board, particularly now Weston has been downgraded. People now have to travel up to Southmead.

“There is also a concern to do with ambulance provision.

“The actual health provision in our town is deteriorating and to the extent of real concern.

“We desperately need to contact our MP, talk about NHS provision and services in our town because we are heading for dire times.

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