PLANS that have been 11 years in the works to build a health hub on greenbelt land was given unanimous backing from councillors.

Members sitting on the Windsor and Ascot development management panel gave health bosses the nod to build a new community health facility on land to the north of Lynwood Crescent in Sunningdale, Ascot.

This new facility is to replace the ageing 20th-century primary care surgeries at Magnolia house and Kings Corner which is no longer “fit for purpose” or provide the service required for the rural villages.

It will house a range of services, such as consultation, recovery, bariatric, minor operations, physiotherapy, and talking therapy rooms.

There will be 100 car parking spaces, which are to provide 35 staff, 65 patients and include five accessible parking spaces, included with the hub.

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Speaking at the meeting on Wednesday, March 2, Caroline Farrar a representative from Frimley CCG, said this a “once in a generation opportunity” to provide a modern fit for purpose health facility to meet the needs of the villages’ needs as well as train future doctors and nurses.

However, Sunningdale parish councillor Yvonne Jacklin said the hub would be 20 per cent larger than the village’s Waitrose store and would, therefore, harm the wildlife, the biodiversity, and the greenbelt, not enhance it.

She said: “Whilst we fully support the new medical facility, even a slight reduction to the size of this building would allow the benefits to outweigh this harm when reviewed from a planning perspective.”

Royal Borough Observer: Another CG of the approved health hubAnother CG of the approved health hub

Despite the building needing to be built on the greenbelt and land that is a ‘designated green gap’ that separates Sunninghill and Sunningdale villages, planning officers recommended approval as the health improvement benefits outweigh this harm.

A number of trees, including two grand old trees, will be lost, but officers say proposed landscaping, habitats, and planting will remedy this.

The plans received nearly 100 letters of support and seven objections.

Sunningdale and Cheapside councillor Sayonara Luxton (Con) said the centre was the “most important thing waited for” in 11 years.

She said: “To these seven people [objectors], I ask the question when you are you sick and in desperate need for a reliable capable surgeon, are you going to please that because of your objections, do you have one?

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“Do these objectors check that these facilities they visit are on brownfield site as they prefer or within the lease period.

“I don’t know about you but if I was sick, or my children or my family were unwell, I would definitely forget about these issues and I would be looking forward to going to a good surgery.”

The plans also saw the backing of the Mayor, Cllr John Story (Con: Ascot & Sunninghill), the lead member for health, Cllr Stuart Carroll (Con: Boyn Hill), and council leader Andrew Johnson (Con: Hurley & Walthams).

Councillors sitting on the planning panel gave the plans their unanimous backing. The scheme is subject to a list of conditions, such as the completion and securing of a carbon offset contribution.