Medical centres plans unveiled

DOCTORS have unveiled their dream of a modern medical centre in a £5m-plus redevelopment of the "gateway" to a Suffolk town.The Notcutts garden centre site, which provides a memorable vista for people entering Woodbridge on Ipswich Road, is earmarked for new medical facilities costing £2m to replace the substandard and ageing Framfield House surgery in the town.

By Richard Smith

DOCTORS have unveiled their dream of a modern medical centre in a £5m-plus redevelopment of the "gateway" to a Suffolk town.

The Notcutts garden centre site, which provides a memorable vista for people entering Woodbridge on Ipswich Road, is earmarked for new medical facilities costing £2m to replace the substandard and ageing Framfield House surgery in the town.

The surgery's partners warned that they would not be able to work in their current Grade II* listed building for much longer and they had assessed and discounted numerous other sites in the town.


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Jonathan Haigh, Richard Verrill and John Lynch said the present surgery, already catering for 10,000 patients, would struggle to cope with an expected influx of 800 people when Woodbridge Airfield had a new barracks.

In the last four years there has already been a 25% increase in the number of appointments at Framfield House and the partners warned the current site was not suitable for redevelopment.

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The surgery has now joined forces with Notcutts to submit plans to Suffolk Coastal District Council for a comprehensive redevelopment of Notcutts. A first plan was rejected in February.

William Notcutt, managing director, said the latest plans gave significant community facilities including a medical centre, a public open space dedicated to the town on a substantial part of the Ipswich Road frontage and the retention of woodlands.

"A new roundabout is proposed at the junction with Cherry Tree Road as the new access to service the entire site and a safer access into Cherry Tree Road," he said.

"Traffic calming measures in Ipswich Road are also included. Additionally, two areas of housing are proposed, the first a sheltered housing scheme below Warren Hill Road, and the second, to the rear of the site, a residential development of 28 flatted dwellings, 30% of which would be designated for affordable housing.

"The proposal represents a unique opportunity that will bring benefits to the patients of Framfield House practice and customers of Notcutts, as well as the townspeople of Woodbridge."

The medical centre will provide a surgery, pharmacy, enhanced services in musculo-skeletal medicine and possibly dermatology, cardiology and ear, nose and throat medicine.

The doctors said: "This would allow the patients to have access to specialised services locally rather than having to travel to their local hospital for treatment."

They also want new chronic disease management clinics, extra training space to develop the surgery into a major training practice, an area for the voluntary sector, an education area and access to social services.

Midwifery, district nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy space would also be provided. Notcutts, in competition with the enhanced Wyevale garden centre two miles away on the A12, will modernise and extend their garden centre.

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