Council calls for new GP surgery plan to be rejected

PUBLISHED: 06:42 01 May 2018

An artist's impression of the new surgery. Picture: Mendip Vale Medical Practice

An artist's impression of the new surgery. Picture: Mendip Vale Medical Practice

Archant

Plans for a new GP surgery for patients living in Claverham, Congresbury and Yatton threaten to ruin the countryside.

That is the opinion of Yatton Parish Council which has joined its Congresbury counterparts in opposing proposals to build a larger health facility for the area.

Mendip Vale Medical Practice is seeking planning permission to build a two-storey surgery off Smallway in Congresbury, opposite North Somerset Butterfly House.

Its surgeries in Congresbury and Yatton are not big enough to cope with more patients, according to practice manager David Clark.

And while Yatton Parish Council members agree a new health centre is required, it has strongly objected to the planned site.

It said: “The parish council wishes to express it is not rejecting the concept of a new medical practice; it is a facility which would be most welcome for Yatton and Congresbury.

“However, the concerns are in the selection of the proposed site and the flawed consultation process leading to that choice.

“Councillors felt full and transparent consideration of all the site options were not made available for consultation allowing residents to express their views.

“The proposal is an unacceptable intrusion into the strategic gap between the villages.

“The building would significantly and adversely affect the open countryside and rural setting of the strategic gap.”

Concerns over public transport links and the building would look out of keeping with the rural environment, were also expressed by councillors on Yatton’s planning committee.

Congresbury Parish Council raised similar concerns when it met in March to debate the idea.

Despite the parish councils’ stance, North Somerset Council will get the final say.

Public comments are still being accepted by North Somerset ahead of making a final decision.

Opinion is split on the scheme with supporters of the plans saying the current set up ‘is not fit for purpose’.

Mr Clark told the Times earlier this year: “We saw a three per cent increase in patients registering with us across our sites in 2017, which is more than 750 people.

“Without a new build we will struggle to provide sufficient services in Yatton and Congresbury.”

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