‘Urgent need’ for new Cromer medical practice
A new £3.5m medical centre providing for 21st century health care needs in Cromer has moved a step closer.
Cromer Group Practice will move from its existing base on Overstrand Road which is described as 'no longer fit for purpose' to nearby Cabbell Park if the plans are approved.
The medical centre would share the Mill Road site with Cromer Football Club and form part of a community healthcare hub with nearby Cromer Hospital.
Town councillors are due to consider the application for the GP surgery and pharmacy at its meeting in the town's North Lodge tonight (Thursday) at 7pm.
Members of North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) development committee will decide whether to grant planning permission later this year.
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The new practice will meet an 'increasingly desperate community need,' according to developer Medcentres in its planning application.
It states: 'Expansion of their existing medical centre is not a realistic option for the practice as it is severely constrained by its current premises built in 1969. There is an urgent need to provide more space in better quality accommodation in order to provide up to date clinical services for patients.'
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In addition to increasing numbers of local patients, the influx of holidaymakers to the resort during the summer season is putting further pressure on the practice.
The district council became the official owner of Cabbell Park in 2012.
A designation stipulating that the land is open space for public use was removed in September last year.
It had been feared that Cromer Football Club could be consigned to history if it was kicked off the park to make way for the medical centre, with the clubhouse which supports the ongoing operation of the club in line for demolition.
But the local authority has said that the club can remain at Cabbell Park for a further three years while a new sports facility is built on the edge of town. And if the land is sold to Medcentres it could arrange to lease the clubhouse back and sub-let it to the club.
Speaking ahead of the town council meeting, Cromer mayor Tim Adams said: 'I have concerns about the impact of the traffic and parking.'
He added: 'There has been an indication by the district council that the interests of the football club will be protected.
'Hopefully the council can find a way forward. Keeping income raising facilities for the club was fundamental along with all the standard things they need like toilets and changing room facilities.'