Update: Norwich’s Timber Hill walk-in centre set for move, after councillors grant permission for Castle Mall restaurant quarter

The Timber Hill entrance to Castle Mall.
 Photo: Simon Finlay The Timber Hill entrance to Castle Mall. Photo: Simon Finlay

Thursday, July 3, 2014
3:56 PM

The under-threat Timber Hill Health Centre in Norwich’s Castle Mall looks set to move, after city councillors agreed changes which will pave the way for the switch.

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However, it remains unclear whether the centre, which includes a walk-in centre and GP services, will move to another spot in the Castle Mall.

The lease for the £2m walk-in centre, which opened in the Castle Mall in July 2009, has not been renewed and is due to run out in September.

InfraRed, the owners of Castle Mall, had offered a new home for the centre on a lower level of the mall, with a new restaurant quarter created where the centre is currently based.

Norwich Practices Ltd, which runs the health centre, including a walk-in centre and GP surgery, had opposed the switch.

And NHS England had been looking at alternative sites in the city centre for a walk-in centre.

But, at today’s meeting of Norwich City Council’s planning committee, there was an eleventh hour announcement that Norwich Practices Ltd had withdrawn their objection to plans which would see the health centre make way for restaurants and for a unit in level 2 to be earmarked for use as a health centre.

Steve Bloomfield, business manager, said in a note submitted to the city council: “I am writing, on behalf of Norwich Practices Ltd, to confirm that, having had further discussions with InfraRed, we have, subject to finalising the details, been able to agree terms which would allow us time for a phased withdrawal of the Timber Hill Health Centre to allow a new health centre to be opened at another site in the city centre.

“We, therefore wish to withdraw all our objections to the plan to redevelop the site and are prepared to support both applications.”

He then told the committee he would not want councillors to “block off” the option of moving to the alternative unit in the Castle Mall, but said there were other options as well.

A representative for InfraRed said a 10-year lease had been offered for the health centre on a lower level and that the refit would be at no cost to the public purse.

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for the Timber Hill Health Centre to remain in Castle Mall.

Norwich City Council officers had recommended on planning grounds there is no reason to refuse the applications.

And business bosses said the plan to put restaurants where the centre is currently based would be a huge boost for the city centre.

Councillors granted permission for the changes.

Four members of the committee withdrew from the vote after saying they had already formed a ‘prejudicial’ view, while a call to defer making a decision was defeated on the casting vote of chairman Ralph Gayton.

26 comments

  • Personally I would like to see it moved to a ground floor level to enable x-ray facilities to go in thus taking pressure off the A&E at NNUH and better options for injured people

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    AngieJW

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

  • what happened in the past is in the past and people seem hell bent on assuming that its going to be a waste of time to make the mall better .....and probably like the people that are trying to keep the walk in centre where it is i agree, they probably are lazy ! at the end of the day the walk in centre is going to move and you cant stop it , the mall just like the walk in centre is a business and need to make a profit for it to continue , things were obviously not run correctly in the past but the new owners seem to have their heads screwed on to make a success of the mall ! the haters need to look at the whole picture and not just the bits they want to !!!

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    flax

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • People seem to be forgetting that there were restaurants here before and they all failed. Besides, there are plenty of other boarded up units in the Mall where they could go. Or are their "users" to lazy to walk further than the entrance?

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    marty r

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • cant believe how many whingers there are !!! jobs will be created and revenue for the mall to update the centre and hopefull in turn attract some decent shops and i dont think there will be 7 burger bars opening up but some quite nice restaurants where people can go to enjoy a meal before or after going to the cinema......all i can see on here are mostly a load of people with no idea of what can come of this and what good it will do !! perhaps the moaning will be kept to your own houses so everyone else doesnt have to be subjected to it......most people like to be happy......you obviously dont !!!!!!!!

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    flax

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • I just cannot understand why there needs to be even more restaurants in Norwich. There are so many as it is. OK it creates Jobs, well 8 Hour contracts or Zero Hour Contracts which is becoming the norm these days. So if you want to give a waiter or waitress a tip who is on a zero hr contract invite them outside then handover your money, cause inside the slave drivers ie the employer will make sure it is stuffed into the back pocket of a Manager ! Burger off NCC

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    che bramley

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • What a stupid idea it was to move it from Thorpe St Andrew into the city in the first place. Objective... Keep traffic out of the city. Action, put the walk in centre in the middle of the city. How do most people get into the walk in centre? By car! Brilliant achievement!

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    IT Man

    Friday, July 4, 2014

  • I have no problem with my doctors surgery,but i know ,many do and use Timberhill. I did use it once myself when i slipped over in street on a sunday and cut my nose, Got excellent treatment. Hopefully any replacement will be in a easy to get to position Castle Mall in my opinion is not an attractive shopping centre.It reeks of the smells of fast food now. do we need anymore and its hardly full of "classy shops". I feel that Norwich shopping is sadly becoming more down market. Mango in Chapelfield recently closed and the latest addition is the new Poundland in St Stephens , do we really need 2, 3 if you count Riverside.Wouldnt a few more slightly upmarket shops be a good idea, otherwise Norwich will soon start to resemble my old home town Lowestoft or even worse Gt Yarmouth.Its the only city for miles,surely it dosent need to go downmarket.It has few of the shops other cities seem to have as it is.

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    june muskett

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Labour candidates very quiet.No photo opportunities with their rent a crowd selfies yet,.Lewis and Assato class act Yawn.

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    PaulH

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Piranha24..Burger King like most big chains is a franchise business & East Anglia was left with very few BK's several years ago after the franchisee for most of them went bankrupt. Hence the closure of the top floor BK. The current BK did not open until many months after the closure of the top floor restaurant.

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    el84

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Fingers crossed for a Harvester Restaurant is all I'm saying

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    Martin P

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Same old moaners. New restaurants = new jobs and new business. The walk in centre will stay in the city so what's the problem!!!!

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    graytrain

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Thank you Tdoff This quarter nonsense is like nails down a blackboard and makes me want to nnnnggg. Picking up an old English word which had mostly fallen out of use except in the USA and dropping it randomly in developer and tourism speak is just too contrived to work. Same as using Brighton speak and lumping alleys streets and lanes under Norwich Lanes-not right, not Norwich, not nice. As for the burger bar- cheap, get what you pay for if you are hungry and then you can eat decent food at home-as opposed to pay far too much to eat inedible food as I did at the Castle in Caister the other day and at several other pubs in the Broads area serving pub grub to tourists. And I include most of the chain restaurants in that bad value for not good food.

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Aren't Norwich city councillors fed up of getting it wrong? Who needs more burgers (obesity) bars? Obviously the council do - more business rates maybe?

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    biglingers

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • el84, when did Burger King fail? It only moved to the food court as one of the main food outlets.

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    Piranha24

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Moan Moan Moan, But someone complaining about burger bars with the Surname McDonald couldn’t help but make me chuckle!

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    Josh Helling

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • The entire site is accesible so what's the problem.

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    Andy T

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • T Doff - And what exactly would you call dated about Castle Mall, everyone who visits can see it doesn't look as good as it did when it first opened but I can show you many other malls which are actually dated. These are to be quality resturants and not fast-food type.

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    barrybartram

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • As usual the Labour Council controlling group seems to be out of the loop set up by the wannabee Labour MPS with chairs casting vote .Or do they know something we dont

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    No to tory boy

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • I hope the walk-in centre isn't moving to the old All Saint's Church.

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    Carol Gardiner

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • I doubt the "business bosses" would say anything other than that this is a cracking idea. As for "restaurant quarters", the idea that a "quarter" can be shoehorned into a covered, rather dated shopping mall is pure nonsense. It is also the case that creating "quarters" in Norwich is a risible plan anyway, as witness the dreadful Riverside. People want to be able to go to a range of good restaurants etc., with some kind of character, not all fast food joints or expensive, and this is not that.

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    T Doff

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Seems ridiculous to move the operation to a lower, less accessible out-of-shopping-hours position. Needs to stay where it is. Castle Mall is fast becoming 'Anglia Square2' since Chaplefield opened. Good luck to the new owners to turn it around, but making themselves unpopular by moving the Health Centre is a not going to help.

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    bumble7

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Burger King didn't fail, it moved to the food court in the main bit, it was always busy and no-one mentioned burger bars. Whats better for the mall, empty units or restaurantscafes bringing in business? I've not been impressed with the walk-in centres service in the past. Went there just after Christmas, there was one other person in there and waited half an hour only for a nurse to tell me I had to see my GP at my local surgery. The idea of coming to you was that it wasn't an emergency which needed a visit to A&E but was pretty urgent so a visit to a walk in centre was more suitable. Makes me laugh that people keep blaming the council yet they somehow keep getting voted in.

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    Piranha24

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Totally agree with whats said here. Why on earth does it have to be moved.

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    sharky

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Another brain dead decision by the City Council, people go on about obesity, so what do the Council do give permission for restaurant come burger bar at the expense of a healthy walk in centre. Well done

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    Derek McDonald

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • The logic or trying to turn the area into a food area again makes no sense. Burger King failed, as did the restaurant that was where the health centre now is. So if restaurants have failed before what will be different this time?? Surely if you want to breath life back into a area & that floor has nothing but the medical centre, then building it around a already successful unit makes more sense that trying what has already failed.

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    el84

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Hooray! More burger bars!!!!

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    marty r

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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