Churchdown Health Centre

Fierce debate over a potential site for a new Churchdown Health Centre is likely to be ignited again, once a ruling on a village green application has been decided next month.

Residents living near to Churchdown Community Centre off Parton Road have been determined to block plans to build a new health hub there since the idea was first mooted two years ago.

The existing surgery serves 14,000 but is in urgent need of expansion.

And a saga to determine where that centre should be built has dragged on for more than a decade, frustrating many patients and residents.

Land at Buttermilk Lane was first earmarked as a potential plot, but the hopes of private healthcare developer Pembark Ltd and residents were dashed when discussions with NHS bosses broke down.

Peter Bryant, who lives nearby the proposed plot in Dowding Way, has led the campaign objecting to the second proposed site, adjacent to the community centre.

He said:
We have had the village green status hearing with the planning
 inspector and are hopeful of a positive outcome. All the residents are aware there is a need for a new health centre in Churchdown, but it has to be in the right place. We have proved that the green space has been used consistently over the last 20 years, not just by clubs connected to the Churchdown Community Association, but by all resident who live nearby. It is used for cricket, football and picnics. It looks overgrown now as they have not cut the grass for two years, but that is a ploy we believe. It is an important social part of our community, there are plenty of other areas that could be considered instead.

A ruling on Village Green status for the land is due to be made within around six weeks.

Other sites to have been considered include playing fields at ChurchdownSchool, land at Pirton Lane and behind Town Cars at Cheltenham Road East. Land has also been considered for the development behind Evergreen Nurseries.

At the time of the Village Green application, Churchdown Parish Council, said:
The council objects to the application as it considers there is strong evidence that the usage made of the site has not been use ‘as of right’ but is and has been permissive use. There are many other facilities within a short distance of the site which can be used freely.