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Churchdown Health Centre debate set to be fierce as village green ruling looms

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 17, 2014

Artists impression of the proposed new surgery

Comments (5)

Fierce debate over a potential site for a new Churchdown Health Centre is likely to be ignited again, once a ruling on a village green application has been decided next month.

Residents living near to Churchdown Community Centre off Parton Road have been determined to block plans to build a new health hub there since the idea was first mooted two years ago.

The existing surgery serves 14,000 but is in urgent need of expansion.

And a saga to determine where that centre should be built has dragged on for more than a decade, frustrating many patients and residents.

Land at Buttermilk Lane was first earmarked as a potential plot, but the hopes of private healthcare developer Pembark Ltd and residents were dashed when discussions with NHS bosses broke down.

Peter Bryant, who lives nearby the proposed plot in Dowding Way, has led the campaign objecting to the second proposed site, adjacent to the community centre.

He said: “We have had the village green status hearing with the planning inspector and are hopeful of a positive outcome.

“All the residents are aware there is a need for a new health centre in Churchdown, but it has to be in the right place.

“We have proved that the green space has been used consistently over the last 20 years, not just by clubs connected to the Churchdown Community Association, but by all resident who live nearby.

“It is used for cricket, football and picnics. It looks overgrown now as they have not cut the grass for two years, but that is a ploy we believe.

“It is an important social part of our community, there are plenty of other areas that could be considered instead.”

A ruling on Village Green status for the land is due to be made within around six weeks.

Other sites to have been considered include playing fields at Churchdown School, land at Purton Lane and behind Town Cars at Cheltenham Road East. Land has also been considered for the development behind Evergreen Nurseries.

At the time of the Village Green application, Churchdown Parish Council, said: “The council objects to the application as it considers there is strong evidence that the usage made of the site has not been use ‘as of right’ but is and has been permissive use.

“There are many other facilities within a short distance of the site which can be used freely.”

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  • wisty  |  June 03 2014, 7:49PM

    I live in Churchdown and tried to walk my dog round the so-called 'village green' and was told that I had to apply for permission to use it. I have never seen anyone use that space and there certainly needs to be better use made of the land and if it is for the village then it should be made freely available to all!

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  • Hadagmaja  |  May 17 2014, 10:52PM

    Football, cricket and picnics? When? On the 2 days of summer we get a year? That land is never used. It makes sense for the area to be used better. At Johns Avenue is already too busy with the school, shops, pharmacy. The other options just seem unrealistic to me.

    |   -11
  • NibNobs  |  May 17 2014, 6:23PM

    Those objecting should not be allowed to become patients. Why would anyone object to a bigger, improved brand new state-of-the-art surgery where I assume the building would be able to perform small operations to relieve the pressure on GRH (and have free parking unlike rip off charges at GRH!) It would no doubt have more doctors to relieve the usual 7-10 day wait to see a doctor, with longer opening hours to help reduce queues at A&E. My guess is that once it is built, the objectors will be queuing to register themselves and family as patients!

    |   -16
  • Churchdowner  |  May 17 2014, 4:28PM

    This is nimbyism at its most vulgar. The proposed site has never seen enough and consistent activity that would lead a sensible individual to think it could be a village green. Let's hope the needs of the community will be considered ahead of a few greedy individuals. Those individuals have resorted to disinformation, distortion and manipulation - they should hold their heads in shame.

    |   -13
  • Churchdowner  |  May 17 2014, 4:20PM

    This is nimbyism at its most vulgar. The proposed sight has never been used to the extent that any right thinking individual could considered it a village green. Let's hope the needs of the community win over the selfish needs of a few. Those few, who have resorted to disinformation, distortion and manipulation, should hold their heads in shame.

    |   -12