Plans submitted to turn disused West Mersea police station into doctors’ surgery

Police , Fire and Essex County council teamed up in West Mersea in 2011 when the police station clos

Police , Fire and Essex County council teamed up in West Mersea in 2011 when the police station closed. - Credit: Archant

A town’s former police station could be converted into a doctors’ surgery under plans put forward by GPs.

Essex Police closed its station in West Mersea in March 2011 as part of a cost-cutting plan, with local officers moving into a base at the town’s fire station.

Now the Mersea Island Medical Practice has submitted a planning application to take over the site in East Road and convert it into a new doctors’ surgery for islanders.

A main site in Kingsland Road, plus a clinic in Barfield Road shared with other health teams, currently make-up the surgery.

The proposed scheme, which includes front and rear extensions to the former police building, has been backed by both the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England.

Octopus Healthcare has been appointed to manage the project on behalf of the surgery.

A planning statement submitted to Colchester Borough Council, which will rule on the plans, says: “The proposed development seeks to improve patient services, and increase capacity to meet future potential demand.

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“The present interim dual site arrangement restricts the optimal use of clinical resources and creates unnecessary duplication of management.

“Patient safety will be improved by enabling the practice team to be located on a single site.

“The proposals will also provide the potential to increase the number and variety of clinical services hosted in the community that will benefit patients, and reduce the backlog of patients awaiting services.”

Longer opening hours have also been proposed as part of the application.

The GP surgery would be open from 8am until 6.30pm on weekdays, while a small pharmacy on site would be open from 7am until 9pm weekdays, 6am to 9pm at weekends and on bank holidays according to the planning application.

As well as benefiting patients the primary care centre will also increase the amount of training for new GPs which can be carried out by the surgery.

A total of 19 new car parking spaces, including two disabled bays, and 16 cycle spaces will be introduced at the new surgery if plans are given the green light.

Some nearby residents have objected to specific details of the scheme, such as the design and traffic measures, but have supported the plans in principle.

The original design for the new surgery was adapted following a public consultation meeting held last month.

Colchester Borough Council is due to make a decision on the planning application by September 1.

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