Long wait nearly over for Stansted’s new health centre
PUBLISHED: 15:29 30 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:29 30 January 2014
Today (Thursday) is expected to go down in history as the day a village’s 40-year wait for a much-needed health centre officially came to an end.
The West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group is expected to approve a purpose-built scheme for the facility on the site of the old Castle Lotus Garage in Lower Street, Stansted Mountfitchet, at its Board meeting today (Thursday).
Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for the health centre, along with 14 flats and a retail unit, in October 2012. However, lease negotiations between the site owners – the Hilton group – and the NHS delayed the commencement of building work.
The Reporter understands there were even concerns up until the 11th hour that the medical centre may not be approved by NHS England because of ongoing wrangling over rental costs.
But this was eventually worked out and health bosses, who will be meeting at Uttlesford District Council’s offices in London Road, Saffron Walden, appear certain to approve the recommendation for work to begin.
Stansted resident Ray Woodcock, who is one of a small group who have avidly campaigned for a new health centre over the years, said: “We have had to wait approaching half a century for a much-needed health centre in the village. This is history.”
The health centre will replace the current GP surgery on St John’s Road, which is operating over-capacity and has more than 9,000 patients on its books.