Planning permission to redevelop the existing Glebe Surgery in Glebe Field has been approved.
Horsham District Council’s planning committee (south) voted in favour of the application at a meeting held in Chart Way, Horsham, on Tuesday (March 21).
Dr Kier Newsom told the meeting there was a lack of space at the existing surgery, adding: “Health care is needed now and funding from the NHS is available now. If this application is blocked, we will lose funding and that will be damaging to health care in the district.”
But chairman of Storrington and Sullington Parish Council Anna Worthington-Leese urged the committee to reject the plan on the ground that the nine homes on the adjoining glebe field ‘conflict with the local plan’.
The existing surgery is to be demolished to make way for the improved facilities including a 1,400sqm surgery, a pharmacy and 59 car park spaces.
The final plan sought permission for nine homes on the field, with 31 spaces for cars - developers had originally proposed 24 houses but this was reduced after consultation with council planners.
Access to the site was proposed through an adapted access to Monastery Lane.
District councillor for Southwater Claire Vickers supported the need for the surgery but opposed the nine homes.
She said: “I think we can all agree that there is a need for this surgery.
“My concern is the nine new homes on site that do not provide affordable property.
“The developers are giving the land away that could have been used as open green space.”
Councillor for Chanctonbury Philip Circus said: “We are where we are. We are not where we want to be.
“The new pharmacy could have a knock-on affect in Ashington, Thakeham and West Chiltington but this is a better alternative than losing nearby healthcare altogether.
“It is a very difficult situation dealing with this application but I am minded to support this application.”
The council approved the application on the condition that the surgery building and open space was secured before work started on the residential element of the proposal.
There were 12 votes in favour of the application, one against and three abstentions.
Commenting on the application, Chairman of the Planning Committee (south) councillor Brian O’Connell said: “After a lengthy planning process which has taken account of the many comments regarding the scheme, and required the applicants to make a number of changes to their original proposals, we have finally given permission for the redevelopment of the Glebe Surgery.
“With a growing population in the area and patient numbers rising, it is crucial that we make suitable provision for healthcare in the Storrington area. We are confident that these plans for a new purpose built facility will greatly improve the health and wellbeing of local residents.”
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