Medical clinic raises concerns over new care village plans

An artist's impression of the new care village for Thorpe St Andrew 

An artist's impression of the new care village for Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Carlton Hall

Plans for a new care village on the outskirts of Norwich could burden an existing medical clinic. 

That is the view of Lisa Vandepeer, practice manager at East Norwich Medical Partnership, who has expressed her concerns in response to a new facility in Thorpe St Andrew. 

Tony Prendergast, of Suffolk care company Carlton Hall Village, is listed as the applicant for the plans to build a 80-bed care home, 19 assisted living bungalows, a new vehicular access and outbuildings at the former Oasis Sports and Leisure Club.

Oasis sports & leisure club in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Bill Smith

The former Oasis Sports and Leisure Club

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council has recently raised no objection to the plans which have been amended from the original application approved in February 2020.

But in a public letter to Broadland District Council's planning team, Mrs Vandepeer said the application falls within the catchment area of her general practice. 

She added: "While appreciating the need for such facilities, we are ill at ease at the level of additional service requirements this will place on general practice.

"This is at a time while the demand for its services is at its highest but the level of clinicians available to meet that need is at its lowest."

The practice is worried about the workload pressures the care village will cause on facilities where locals are already registered. 

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In a design booklet, Carlton Hall Village said the site has "strong existing boundaries, enclosed by a dense line of trees". 

It says adjustments have been made to the site layout to improve parking and refuse facilities. 

The care home would be designed to be "pandemic ready" with wide corridors, direct access to outdoor spaces and separate entrances among the new proposals. 

Ian Mackie, county and district councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, said: "Overall I am pleased this site is being developed sooner rather than later, and providing much-needed adult housing care options.

"Lots of residents wish to stay in Thorpe St Andrew but some require extra care or assistance.

Ian Mackie. Pic: Submitted.

Ian Mackie. Pic: Submitted. - Credit: Submitted

"The assisted living homes will be a useful provision in an area already containing popular bungalows." 

Andre Serruys, who currently owns the site, said he was not aware of any objections to the application.