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New health centre gains support

PUBLISHED: 23:59 12 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010

MORE than 400 residents have written letters of support for a project to create a "one-stop shop" health centre and create 65 new jobs for a growing Suffolk town.

MORE than 400 residents have written letters of support for a project to create a "one-stop shop" health centre and create 65 new jobs for a growing Suffolk town.

The doctors' partnership behind the scheme are delighted with the response – a clear message to councillors of how desperately the venture is needed.

The scheme will provide Saxmundham with one of the most modern centres in Suffolk – with a surgery, chemist, optician, dentist, physiotherapy department, ambulance station, social services, creche and playgroup all on one site.

There would also be a base for the Suffolk Doctors on Call service.

Parish councils in the area are all in favour, as is the Suffolk Coastal NHS Primary Care Trust, of the scheme, which will be discussed by Suffolk Coastal councillors on December 18.

The district development control sub committee is being asked to visit the site – a forestry plantation next to the sports ground at North Entrance – before making a decision.

Some concern has been raised by the Environment Agency about flood risks as the site sits in the Fromus valley.

The doctors of the Saxmundham Health Group's Lambsdale Meadow practice have told Suffolk Coastal that the project is needed because of the expansion of Saxmundham and that other local practices are unable to accommodate new patients.

Their surgery has outgrown its current premises. It has recently received approval for a fifth partner but has no room to expand.

If the new plan is agreed, it is hoped that the old surgery can be converted to seven flats, along with the construction in the grounds of four new homes.

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