October 20 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Thousands of patients in east Ipswich will soon benefit from modern state-of-the-art facilities after a proposal for a major new medical centre was given the green light by town planners.
Community leaders and health chiefs last night welcomed the decision to approve the project for the former West Villa homeless unit in Woodbridge Road East, which will serve more than 25,000 people.
It will bring together the Lattice Barn and Woodbridge Road centres.
The new centre, which was backed by the borough council’s planning and development committee yesterday, will include a pharmacy and 25 consulting rooms, as well as contributing towards the training of GPs.
Mark Shenton, chairman of the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is good to hear that planning permission for this new building to house Lattice Barn and Woodbridge Road GP surgeries has been granted.
“The building has been carefully designed to a high standard while making the best possible use of the available space. Once complete, it will provide modern, state-of-the-art facilities which will benefit patients across Ipswich.”
The West Villa site was chosen after former sheltered flats in Cambridge Drive were converted into a new homeless families unit.
The current buildings at West Villa will be demolished to make way for the centre.
Council leader David Ellesmere said: “I am very pleased that the plan we helped to put together will soon become a reality with a new surgery for more than 25,000 people in east Ipswich.
“Not only will it be a much needed health facility on the old West Villa homeless unit site, Ipswich also has the benefit of a new West Villa facility elsewhere in the town.”
During yesterday’s meeting, Carole Jones, who sits on the committee, said: “This is a very, very welcome application.”
Bixley ward councillor, John Carnall, added: “The fact that we will have purpose-built facilities for patients is something to be welcomed.”
The site where the new centre will be built was originally part of a Victorian workhouse. It is hoped a plaque could be made to recognise its use in the past.