New medical centre for Sudbury gets green light
Councillors have given the green light to a new three-storey GP surgery and pharmacy for Sudbury, helping to futureproof healthcare for the town.
The project, commissioned by the Hardwicke House Group Practice, will see the development of a modern medical centre, incorporating three existing smaller GP surgeries – Hardwicke House, Meadow Lane and the Great Cornard Surgery – to be built on the former lorry park in Station Road.
Improved medical infrastructure for the town forms part of the council’s wider vision for Sudbury, with Babergh District Council enabling the new medical centre to be built through the sale of land – meaning local health services can meet future population growth and the changing needs of the community.
The planning committee agreed 10 votes to one in favour of the plans, which will see a new centre with 33 clinical rooms, consulting and treatment suites, minor operations space, training rooms and counselling areas. The centre will also have its own car park.
The building itself has a number of sustainable features, including solar panels and air source heat pumps and plans also include a cycle storage. Existing jobs will be protected with the potential for further employment opportunities at the centre.
Concerns were raised during debate over the loss of the existing practice at Great Cornard and additional travel required for patients as a result, but the committee was satisfied that town centre location for the improved facilities provided good transport links – including community transport where required.
Alternative arrangements have already been made for market stall holders who park on the site on market days. Discussions are ongoing to accommodate one larger vehicle, plus a coach that currently uses the lorry park as a waiting area having dropped schoolchildren off at the nearby Kingfisher Leisure Centre. Waitrose will also still be able to continue its deliveries to the rear of its neighbouring store.