Public consultation set to begin on plans to replace three GP surgeries with state-of-the-art medical centre in Sudbury after land sale agreed
Plans to replace three ageing GP surgeries with a new state-of-the-art medical facility for Sudbury have taken a step closer to reality, with the public set to receive their first look at the proposals this week.
Hardwicke House Group Practice, which operates five surgeries across Sudbury, Great Cornard, Clare and Bures, confirmed on Monday it had reached an agreement to buy the lorry park off Station Road from Babergh District Council.
The land purchase represents a significant milestone in ambitions to build a new 1,900 square-metre health centre, including clinical spaces, training and education rooms, and an on-site pharmacy.
The practice explained it had developed the proposals to cater to the area’s expanding population, and replace its branches in Stour Street and Meadow Lane, plus The Cornard Surgery in Pot Kiln Road, which it says are no longer fit for purpose.
Dr Jamie Gilmour, project lead for Hardwicke House Group Practice, said: “We have had great difficulty in providing the level of medical services we aspire to from our old buildings for a number of years.
“This gives us an amazing opportunity to locate a modern healthcare facility in the centre of Sudbury with parking and transport links.
“We are grateful for Babergh District Councils support in facilitating this move and hope it will future proof Sudbury’s community healthcare provisions for many years to come.”
A public consultation process for the new medical centre will begin on Thursday, July 8, with members of the project team showcasing the initial plans at a stand on Market Hill.
Further consultation events will take place during the markets on July 15 and July 22, while the proposals will also be outlined online, with people invited to give their feedback.
It is expected that a formal planning application will be submitted to Babergh District Council as early as next month.
Babergh leader, Cllr John Ward, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to support the introduction of a new medical centre into the town centre.
“It has always been part of our long-term vision for Sudbury to have improved healthcare facilities to benefit the local community.
“I would encourage local residents who have any queries about the new healthcare centre to find out more from the project team when they showcase the plans at Sudbury market.”
The project has also received the backing of the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS England, with financial support provided by the NHS England Premises Capital Investment Programme.
The West Suffolk CCG will also commence a patient engagement exercise later this month, to enable practice patients to offer their input into the proposals.
“The CCG is pleased that proposals for a new state-of-the-art building in Sudbury town centre to replace Hardwicke House, Meadow Lane and Cornard Surgeries are progressing,” a CCG spokesman said.
“Shortly, the practice will be seeking views from local people about these plans. We believe providing services from a modern building, that had good local public transport links, will help serve the community for many years to come.”