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Doctors have launched a petition for a new surgery building in Stanton

Doctors have launched a petition to win backing for an extension to their surgery.

The doctors want to build the extension in place of a temporary building at Stanton Surgery, The Chase, which has been there since 2017, and say it is ‘their last hope’ of meeting the needs of the community for the next five to 10 years, having already investigated alternatives with West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Earlier this month however, the plan, including a 1.5 storey rear extension to house two consulting rooms, treatment room, and interview room was blocked by West Suffolk Council development committee which was ‘minded to refuse’, over parking concerns, with a full decision expected in October.

Stanton Surgery
Stanton Surgery

Stanton Parish Council has also objected over parking, saying it will become ‘intolerable for residents and surgery users alike’.

The council added: “The surgery has previously explored an alternative site for development in Upthorpe Road. This site is still available and the council would actively encourage the practice to revisit previous plans and consider relocation which the parish council would actively support.”

Suffolk County Council is also considering options for the Upthorpe Road site to be developed as a ‘health hub’ for the community, offering health and community wellbeing services.

Some of the Stanton residents who have signed the surgery petitionPicture: Mark Westley
Some of the Stanton residents who have signed the surgery petitionPicture: Mark Westley

Dr Nick Redman, of Stanton Surgery, however, said: “We have already investigated the possibility of this relocation with the CCG but the project proved to be unviable for a variety of reasons.

“We have funding in place for the extension until March 2021. If this is lost, we will be left with nothing but our existing building for a community of more than 5,000 people.

"We will also face de-registering 1,500 patients as we will lose a third of our consultation space.

“Opposition came as a complete shock. We are angry because of the time, effort and money spent on the plan already. We have launched the petition to win support as we believe the majority of residents are behind us, and have more than 350 signatures, already.”

A parish council meeting is being held on Thursday, September 10, and the application is likely to be discussed.

West Suffolk Council will discuss the plans again at the start of October.

Suffolk County Councillor, Joanna Spice, meanwhile, said: “I understand the GPs concerns about their planning application and the impact on staff and patients.

"However, the problems surrounding parking there would remain and possibly get worse with the impending growth in the population of Stanton and surrounding villages

“Suffolk County Council are working on a project to build a 'health hub' on land they own next to Stanton Primary School where a range of health and community wellbeing services could be available.

"I hope that all partners in the provision of health and other care services will be working together to make this happen as soon as possible”

The surgery petition can be found at www.change.org and searching Stanton Surgery.

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