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'Whitchurch could have no GP health centre' claim as petition launched over judicial review

By Lisa O'Brien | Whitchurch | Health | Published:

A fight has been launched to safeguard the future of GP practices in Whitchurch as plans for a new medical centre are at risk, health bosses say.

Pauls Moss in Whitchurch

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is warning that if the latest plans for a modern health centre at Pauls Moss are overturned by an appeal through a judicial review then the town potentially faces a future with no GP health centre.

The CCG has launched a petition calling on the objectors to withdraw the application for a judicial review.

Dr Julian Povey, chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “Getting a modern health centre for Whitchurch is a priority as our two existing practices are working from old residential properties, and when the GPs retire it will be very hard to attract new GPs to work there.

“The risk is that if we don’t get the go-ahead for this medical centre, we will have lost our chance to ensure that Whitchurch has a future health centre.

"The funding isn’t going to stay on the table forever.

“The irony here is that the planning application has been approved – twice in fact, including an update to take into account feedback – but each time a judicial review has been lodged by objectors."

Mike McDonald, a former mayor of Whitchurch, said: "What we need to understand is that this is potentially our last opportunity to have a new medical centre fit for the 21st century – that is the sad reality.

“Objections on the basis of minor issues such as the precise amount of open space could put the whole project in jeopardy.

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Urge

"The views of a small minority could mean everyone else in the town loses this facility we so desperately need – especially at a time of anticipated growth.

"I would therefore urge everyone to support this campaign, before the funding is lost."

Residents are being asked to sign the petition at surveymonkey.co.uk/r/whitchurchpracticepetition

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The Wrekin Housing Group, in partnership with the NHS and Shropshire Council, has planning permission to retain the existing Pauls Moss building and create a sheltered housing scheme for over 55s with on-site support available.

The group has gifted the land onsite to the NHS so it can build the new health centre.

Under the plans, Pauls Moss will be open to the public who will be able to use an open landscaped area and also go into the refurbished building and visit a café and restaurant.

Paula Fraser, from the Save Pauls Moss group, applied for a judicial review into the process and decisions made.

She says she wants the planning permission to be quashed and suggests the plans should be redesigned to be more sensitive to the area, with more open green space.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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