“An application to build 40 new homes along with a new medical centre at King Alfred Way was approved by a planning inspectorate in March 2017.
At the time, the developers, Clinton Devon Estates, had been in discussions with Coleridge Medical Centre (CMC) which had a strong desire to secure the GP practice and had secured funding from the NHS for this to happen. But in May 2018, CMC withdrew as the funds were no longer available.
At the time, a CMC spokesman told the Herald that GPs had evolved with much more emphasis on innovative ways of working and broadening the range of co-located staff to provide specialist support in shared premises. The developers said they had approached others who might be interested in occupying the surgery but no one showed an interest.
Clinton Devon Estates have now submitted proposals to build two extra new homes at the development.
Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council has slammed the proposals. A spokesperson said: “The council feels that it is disingenuous of the applicant, having been granted planning permission on the basis of the pledge of a doctor’s surgery, to now seek to walk away from their promises.
“The local community has strongly supported a new surgery for the village; through letters of support, a petition and the nascent Neighbourhood plan. CMC operate the current surgery in the village and has declared it inadequate for their purposes. Despite supporting a new surgery initially, they publicly declared it would no longer be viable for them. Residents in the parish will not be taken on by Sidmouth Beacon Centre, which leaves Coleridge, in Ottery, as the main medical centre for the village, despite there being no direct public transport links.”
They added the parish council didn’t believe all avenues had been exhausted with regards to the new surgery and would welcome an immediate discussion with all parties to find a potential solution.
The first homes which are a part of the scheme, that included 16 affordable homes, are due to be completed in winter 2018 and the whole development is hoped to be finished by winter 2019.”