No new medical centre at Asda site

A NEW medical centre expected as part of a multi-million pound development by supermarket chain Asda will no longer go ahead, it can be revealed today.

A NEW medical centre expected as part of a multi-million pound development by supermarket chain Asda will no longer go ahead, it can be revealed today.

As part of a building agreement, Asda pledged to build a medical centre alongside 51 flats, 13 shops and a superstore on Stoke Park Drive, Ipswich.

The news that the Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) run medical centre will no longer go ahead, is the latest blow to the development which has already been subject to delays.

The PCT pulled out of the project to build a two-storey medical centre as it claims the site was in the wrong location.

Martin Royal, the PCT's programme director for business development, said: “In this particular case having carefully considered the proposal put forward by Asda, set against the fact that there is a high quality service provided from the branch surgery next to the development site and there are emerging development options for this branch surgery, we judged that the Stoke Park option did not represent best value for the PCT.”

Keith Rawlingson, Suffolk County councillor, said: “I think it's very unfortunate that there's to be no medical centre because I think the area deserves something better than the small doctor's surgery that is already there.”

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The superstore was originally meant to be opened in November but building work ceased on the site in April. It is now due to open in March.

Mr Rawlingson said: “A grocery store was lost in the process of the Asda project and local people were looking forward to a new and much improved store in the area and the fact that it has been delayed is very regrettable.”

Richard Kirby, councillor for Sprites ward, said: “As a resident myself, I can say it will be a huge relief when the store is finally built and it's important that we get a medical centre to go with it.”

Jonathan Refoy, head of property communications at Asda, said: “We fully appreciate the local community's interest in the development and will keep them informed of our progress as we move forward.”

Do you think the area needs a medical centre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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