DANBURY MEDICAL CENTRE
PLANNING APPLICATION 13/00432/FUL
What was the matter with the old Application that had been approved by Chelmsford Borough Council Planning Committee in 2008?
The former scheme, which incorporated Danbury Medical Centre in a single much larger building included:
- A replacement medical centre (of the same size as the current proposal)
- A private medical centre
- A retail pharmacy
- A 3 bed caretaker’s flat
The partnershipwere unable to proceed with the former scheme despite lengthy discussions between the previous developers,the Mid Essex Primary Care Trust and the partnership. The original approved plans for our new surgery were based upon the surgery utilising only part of the larger premises. The developers wished to lease the remainder of the building to other external private organisations.This unfortunately compromised the internal surgery floorplan so much so as to make it unworkable for the practice and causing issues with security resulting from shared space. The former development, we believe, would have generated considerably more traffic than the current scheme due to the nature of the activities that had been proposed by the developers, which included a separate retail pharmacy.
Why does the new Application have to include other social developments?
The Medical Centre receives funding from the NHS. This funding must be cost effective. Our current developers, Ashley House need to build the surgery to the standards set outby the District Valuer, incorporating the conditions required by the Planning Department. Costs are higher than they were in 2008 and rentals are the same. Unfortunately this knock on effect results in shared costs becoming an inevitable requirement in order for the surgery build to become financially viable.
We firmly believe that having 16 affordable homes for people with extra care and autism needs will be beneficial to the village and is the right thing to do.
Who is the District Valuer and what do they do?
The District Valuer determines the level of rent reimbursement that is received by GP practices via the NHS. The DV is appointed by the NHS to ensure that the private sector is providing premises at a cost which represents good value for money for the NHS when taking into account the precise circumstances of the scheme.
Could the building of a new Medical Centre proceed without the adjacent social units?
The Medical Centre could not proceed alone without some form of enabling development. This is no different from the previous scheme which needed the private medical and retail space in order to be viable.
Is this the best site?
Our former developer and present developer have had in-depth discussions with Chelmsford Planning Department and it has been agreed that this is the most suitable site.
Do you expect the list size to increase?
We do not foresee a substantial increase in our list size. Our architect has suggested that there is usually a modest increase in list size due to better facilities. Our list size has fluctuated over time and due to the practice area is dependent upon natural population movement.
How is the surgery financed?
The new Medical Centre build will be financed by our developers Ashley House. The partnership receives monthly rental reimbursement from the NHS to help cover the cost of leasing. The NHS funding for the Medical Centre has been ring fenced for several years as it was recognised that our particular case was a priority; bringing the standard of premises up to acceptable levels. With changes that are taking place in the NHSit is essential that this ring fenced funding is utilisedor we could lose the funding altogether.
Do we have a view about the sharing of car park with the Mission?
We would be supportive of any request from the Mission to have a flexible sharing arrangement.
Do we have concerns about traffic flow?
Traffic flow has always been a very big issue here at our current surgery. We have enormous problems with regard to car parking and access in and out of the surgery, in particular when emergency vehicles are hindered by parking obstructions. We are confident that the developers, working alongside the Chelmsford Planning Department, will address any issues arising from any increased traffic flow resulting from the relocation. We are also of the opinion that the scheme now proposed will produce far less through traffic than the previous scheme.
The access arrangements at the new site have now been approved, in principle, by the County Highways Authority. The car park will also be much bigger and, at 48 spaces, should be more than sufficient for our needs - recent surveys undertaken at the surgery show that there is a need to park a maximum of 34 cars (staff and patients) at the site at anyone time.
The roads surrounding Eves Corner area will of course notice a considerable reduction in traffic flow.
How can you help?
In order for us to move forward and enable our patients to experience the benefits of a new purpose built Medical Centre, we ask that you support the Planning Application currently being considered by Chelmsford Planning Department.
Commentsshould be made online at http://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/planningonlinevia Public Access,where you will also be able to track the progress of the application.
Alternatively if you are unable to use Public Access you can submit comments:
- By email, to
- By letter, addressed to the Director for Sustainable Communities, P.O Box 7544, Civic Centre, Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1XP
- By fax, for the attention ofthe Director of Sustainable Communities on 01245 606642
All representations should be made for the attention of Sally Rogers quoting the application reference number: 13/00432/FUL
Representations can be made up till the Committee date which is 25th June 2013, but as soon as possible please.
Who are the Developers, Ashley House?
If you would like to find out more about our Developers, Ashley House, their website address is: www.ashleyhouseplc.com.
Other local surgeries that have benefitted from their expertise include:
Baddow Village Surgery
Whitley House, Chelmsford
Deal Tree Surgery, Doddinghurst
We need your support in order to move forward.
From the Partners at Danbury Medical Centre