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Planning application submitted for purpose-built health centre in Sudbury to replace three ageing GP surgeries




The health practice seeking to consolidate three ageing surgeries into a purpose-built medical centre in Sudbury says the plans are needed to future-proof its service, following the submission of a planning application.

Hardwicke House Group Practice submitted formal plans to Babergh District Council on Friday, seeking permission to build a new GP surgery and pharmacy on the former lorry park off Station Road.

The centre, if approved by Babergh District Council, will replace the existing Hardwicke House and Meadow Lane practices in Sudbury, as well as the Cornard Surgery, which practice bosses argue cannot meet the increasing demands on them.

Concept image of Hardwicke House Group Practice's proposed state-of-the-art medical centre off Station Road, Sudbury. Contributed picture. (48939205)
Concept image of Hardwicke House Group Practice's proposed state-of-the-art medical centre off Station Road, Sudbury. Contributed picture. (48939205)

A planning statement supporting the application anticipates that the patient population will rise from 23,000 currently, to as much as 30,000 over the next 10 to 15 years.

"By currently operating five surgery sites, this is not a sustainable business model for the practice," the statement reads.

"The GPs and staff are spreading themselves thinly across all surgery sites, and there is also a lot of wasted time in travelling from one surgery to another.

"By consolidating three of the existing surgeries into the new building, this is a way in which the practice can help future proof itself, by making the entire practice more efficient in the way that it offers services to its patients.

"The practice has aspirations to do more from within general practice, but they are unable to do this at present, as they have no spare space to accommodate new staff or services.

"The new building will help them develop new services."

Proposals for the state-of-the-art health centre were first unveiled during public engagement events in July, while an online consultation process remains ongoing.

The GP practice acknowledged that the closure of Cornard Surgery in particular is "a sensitive topic", and confirmed it will hold public meetings with patients this month and in October, to discuss their concerns.

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