Health official backs expansion scheme

ONE of Suffolk's top health officials has given her backing to controversial new proposals for expansion on the Notcutts site in Woodbridge.Plans to build a new doctors surgery, sheltered housing, flats and extend the garden centre on the Ipswich Road site have been met by widespread concern from the town's residents.

ONE of Suffolk's top health officials has given her backing to controversial new proposals for expansion on the Notcutts site in Woodbridge.

Plans to build a new doctors surgery, sheltered housing, flats and extend the garden centre on the Ipswich Road site have been met by widespread concern from the town's residents.

But Ana Selby, chief executive of the Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust, has given her full backing to the proposals for a new health centre to replace the existing Framfield House surgery in St John's Street.

In a letter to Suffolk Coastal district council she said: "I would like to give the support of the Suffolk Coastal PCT to a new medical health centre on the Notcutts site in Woodbridge.

"Our predecessor organisation began support for this development and we will continue to do what we can to make it a success.

"People in Woodbridge would benefit from GPs and other services being delivered from purpose built premises. New premises enhance the environment in which care is provided, giving patients an improved experience of visiting their GP or other health care professional."

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More than 150 letters of objection have been received by Suffolk Coastal district council in relation to the application, with many fearing the destruction of a beautiful, natural habitat, increased traffic and the loss of trade in the centre of town.

Residents of houses opposite the site have erected a number of colourful banners in opposition.

However, while many are opposed to the huge scale of the development, their letters acknowledge the need for improved medical facilities for the town – with some even writing in total support of the application.

Pauline Mercer, 69, of Grove Road, said: "I really think that the people of Woodbridge would benefit from a new medical centre. The old one can't cope anymore and it seems silly that a town this size doesn't have adequate facilities."

Councillors will be urged to visit the site before discussing the plans at a meeting on February 5.

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