New Churchdown Surgery

Yet another Churchdown site has been mooted as the potential location of a  new medical centre. The long-running saga of where the new health centre should be built to cope  with growing demand  has stretched out over more than a decade.

The existing surgery serves 14,000 but is in urgent need of expansion. Land at Buttermilk Lane was first earmarked as a potential plot.

But the hopes of private healthcare developer Pembark Ltd and residents of  ending the saga were dashed when discussions with NHS bosses broke down. A second site on land next to the Churchdown Community Centre has  also been thrown into doubt as it is the subject of an application for Village  Green status.

Now land on Parton Road, between the telephone exchange  station and the A40, owned by Evergreen Nurseries, has been offered  as a third  potential site. Members of Churchdown parish council met to consider the Village Green  application this week.

It came after the proposal was criticised by the authority, which believed a  more appropriate location could be found.

A parish council spokesman 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. Criteria for Village Green status, which would protect the land from future  development, included proof the land has been in continuous use by local people  for more than 20 years.

But Syd Leuillette, of the Churchdown Community Association, said county  council approval of the land as a Village Green could jeopardise the hopes of  thousands in the community.

If the application for Village Green status, which has been submitted by a  few local residents, is approved then the hopes of the thousands of patients who  have been waiting for a new surgery for some 12 years will again be dashed.