Stowmarket, Mendlesham, Haughley and Gislingham to receive funding boost to expand infrastructure
Parts of Suffolk are to benefit from a funding boost after Mid Suffolk councillors reached an agreement on the distribution of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments.
The payments, which are collected from housing developers as a way to ensure that infrastructure keeps pace with residential expansion, will support a £239,000 upgrade for Mendlesham Health Centre, £62,500 in improvements to parking and storage at the pavilion in Haughley and the installation of a running track at Gislingham Church of England Primary School - made possible through an £18,500 CIL allocation.
£50,000 has also been allocated for a new hydrotreated vegetable oil fuel tank at Creeting Road depot in Stowmarket.
The health centre being upgraded at Mendlesham is currently above capacity and caters to the needs of 8,000 patients from the surrounding area.
The substantial funding boost will ensure that housing growth scheduled for the region does not overwhelm the centre by providing an increase in clinical space.
This will be occupied by health care professionals such as a clinical pharmacists, physiotherapists, chiropodists, phlebotomists and counsellors to provide services to the community.
Proposals also include a newly designed waiting room, a larger dispensary capacity, and improved car parking facilities.
Sustainable transport options will be promoted with patients benefitting from the installation of two new electric vehicle charging points and cycle racks.
It is hoped that the expansion will encourage hospital consultants to have outpatient clinics at the health centre, providing vital services for local residents on their doorstep and alleviating the need for them to travel many miles to the nearest hospital.
Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for planning, said: “All bids are set to make a real difference to the district, but I’m especially pleased that over £239,000 has been agreed to facilitate the much-needed expansion of Mendlesham Health Centre, benefitting not just Mendlesham residents but also those in the surrounding villages.
“Our communities need accessible local health services in order to thrive and enjoy bright and healthy futures – and we are reminded of this now more than ever.”