Ipswich Aldi site considered for new health centre
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Hopes of opening a new "super-surgery" in north-west Ipswich have been delayed after an ambitious plan to convert an Aldi store was put on hold.
The supermarket's branch in Meredith Road was put on the market last year, because Aldi planned to close it when opening a new, larger store in Europa Way, off Sproughton Road, in the spring.
However, at the end of the year it was confirmed that the supermarket site had been taken off the market because Aldi wanted to see what demand was like if it retained both sites.
The long-term future of the Meredith Road store is still under review, but it will stay open at present.
Before the Aldi site became available, the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) planned to build a new health centre on part of the Tooks site, at the junction of Bury Road and Old Norwich Road, alongside new homes built by Ipswich council.
A spokesman for the CCG could not confirm that it had been negotiating the purchase of the Aldi store - but did say a potential deal had fallen through.
The spokesman said the CCG was now looking again at the Tooks site, which is still owned by the borough.
The new health centre would replace the Chesterfield Drive and Deben Road surgeries.
This week, the merger between them and Norwich Road Surgery, which is based near the mini-roundabouts and will stay in its current location, was formally agreed. The practices have been working together since last year.
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The plans for the new medical centre were first unveiled in 2016. The aim is that it should provide many more services than those currently on offer, in a similar way to the Two Rivers Centre on the other side of the town.
The merger will create the largest single medical practice in Ipswich, with more than 29,000 patients on its books.
If a new medical centre is created through combining the Deben Road and Chesterfield Drive surgeries, that would have nearly 20,000 patients.
But the bid for the Aldi store has put back plans for the building, meaning it is likely to be some time before any final decision on a new medical centre is made.