Ascot health center approved after 11 years of work
PLANS that have been in the works for 11 years to build a health center on greenbelt land have received unanimous support from councillors.
Members sitting on the Windsor and Ascot Development Management Committee have given health bosses the green light to build a new community health facility on land north of Lynwood Crescent in Sunningdale, Ascot.
This new facility is to replace the aging 20th century primary care practices at Magnolia House and Kings Corner, which are no longer “suitable” or provide the service required for rural villages.
It will house a range of services, such as consultation, recovery, bariatric, minor operation, physiotherapy and talk therapy rooms.
There will be 100 parking spaces, which are to provide for 35 staff, 65 patients and include five accessible parking spaces, included with the hub.
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Speaking at the meeting on Wednesday 2 March, Caroline Farrar, a representative from Frimley CCG, said this was a “unique opportunity” to provide a modern and suitable healthcare facility to meet the needs of villages and train future doctors and nurses.
However, Sunningdale Parish Councilor Yvonne Jacklin said the center would be 20 per cent larger than the village’s Waitrose store and therefore harm wildlife, biodiversity and the greenbelt, not its improvement.
She said: ‘While we fully support the new medical centre, even a slight reduction in the size of this building would allow the benefits to outweigh this harm when viewed from a planning perspective.’
Although the building is to be constructed on the greenbelt and on land which is a ‘designated green hole’ which separates the villages of Sunninghill and Sunningdale, planning officers have recommended approval as the benefits to the improvement in health outweighs this harm.
A number of trees, including two large old trees, will be lost, but officers say the proposed landscaping, habitats and planting will remedy this.
The plans received nearly 100 letters of support and seven objections.
Sunningdale and Cheapside councilor Sayonara Luxton (Con) said the center was ‘the most important thing expected’ in 11 years.
She said, “To these seven people [objectors]I ask the question when you are sick and desperately need a reliable and competent surgeon, are you going to please because of your objections, do you have one?
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“Are these opponents verifying that these facilities they are visiting are on a brownfield site as they wish or within the lease period.
“I don’t know about you, but if I was sick, or if my children or my family were unwell, I would definitely forget about those issues and look forward to going to a good operation.”
The plans have also seen support from Mayor Cllr John Story (Con: Ascot & Sunninghill), Senior Health Member Cllr Stuart Carroll (Con: Boyn Hill) and Council Leader Andrew Johnson (Con: Hurley & Walthams ).
Councilors on the planning committee gave the plans their unanimous support. The scheme is subject to a list of conditions, such as achieving and securing a carbon offset contribution.