Patients have their say on new surgery for Churchdown
CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new medical centre in Churchdown have split the community for years.
The idea of expanding the existing St John's Avenue surgery was first mooted a decade ago.
Land at Buttermilk Lane was close to being passed for a new centre before negotiations broke down.
Now the community is waiting to find out if a village green application to block a new surgery on land next to the Community Centre is successful. Objections against the village green status had to be submitted by Monday.
Dr Conal McCrum, from the surgery, said: "We have plans for a surgery that would be three times the size, providing new services on land next to the Community Centre, that is our preferred site. Churchdown is surrounded by greenbelt land, there are very few suitable areas for this development."
But Peter Bryant, chairman of Keep Our Green Space, said: "KOGS has completed a traffic survey so we know what the effect of increased traffic will bring to our community. There are other sites available now that could be used without raising the chagrin of villagers."
Jill Lowde, 72, has been a resident in the parish for 40 years. She said: "As long as it stays in Churchdown, that is the only real concern, but it does need to move to a bigger building."
Surgery patient Clifford Cuthbert, 74, said: "This area is growing all the time and people are living longer so something needs to happen.
"The Tesco site would have been perfect. I can see why people want to protect green spaces but a fit-for-purpose surgery is more important."
Margaret Cerrone, 76, said: "The current service is very good considering how small it is. A bigger surgery is desperately needed, but we could be back to square one if this village green application is a success."
Mum of two, Kayleigh Bilney, 25, said: "It can be difficult in the current reception area with two children as it is very small."
Helen Moorhouse, 34, from Innsworth has recently moved to the area. She said: "If moving to a bigger surgery makes the service better then people here should support it."