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GP surgeries would "struggle" under weight of new housing

PUBLISHED: 10:46 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 07:54 24 November 2016

Plans for the proposed 259 new homes at Horsford

Plans for the proposed 259 new homes at Horsford

Archant

Pressures on local GP surgeries from the collective impact of housing developments have prompted an outcry as Drayton could face an extra 2,000 patients in the next two years.

With 218 homes already in the pipeline for Drayton the latest plans, for 259 homes at Horsford, have forced Drayton Medical Practice to draw a line in the sand.

Proposals for the scheme at Green Lane in Horsford from David Wilson Homes have recently been submitted to Broadland District Council, and are yet to be considered.

Rachel Arkieson, managing partner at Drayton Medical Practice, wrote to the planning department warning they could have “real difficulty” in accommodating the numbers.

“The impact of this development, along with other developments within our practice boundary which have recently been granted planning permission, is considerable,” she said.

“We are concerned about the extra pressures this housing development will have on our existing service. In response to a similar application in Drayton, we advised Broadland District Council that along with the usual annual increase in our patient list size we can expect up to an extra 1000 patients over the next two years. With this development we can anticipate up to a further 750 – 1000 patients.”

In 2014 Drayton & St Faiths Medical Practice and Horsford Medical Centre merged, with the practice calling itself “Drayton Medical Practice” from January 2015.

“The council will be all too aware of the pressures on General Practice at the moment and while our funding envelope is uplifted in correlation with an increasing list size we may have very real difficulty in finding adequate levels of clinical staff and accommodating them within our existing premises over the three sites,” added Mrs Arkieson. “Funding opportunities for premises improvements and extensions are limited and while the practice may be able to apply for premises grant funding it is unlikely that this would be available swiftly enough to accommodate the extra patients that this development would bring.

“We believe that patient experience will be negatively impacted with the practice struggling to accommodate this population increase.”

Local residents have spoken of their objection to the plans, and Horsford Parish Council say they will be fighting to get the best deal for the area.

Part of the development would see 85 affordable houses built, which are aimed at people whose needs are not met by the housing market.

Chris Brown, a member of the parish council, said: “My biggest worry is the effect on the infrastructure – where are we going to put the children who need to go to school?

“We should have hard negotiations with David Wilson Homes to see what we can get back for the community.”

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