Strong hopes for new medical centre in rapidly growing village near NDR
- Credit: Sophie Wyllie
A "desperately-needed" medical centre could be built in a village in the grip of a housebuilding boom.
The decision on the new health facility for Rackheath, which currently has no GP practice, is due to be made by NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG next year, according to Broadland district councillor Fran Whymark who lives in the village.
Mr Whymark said he had been "fighting" for a decade for the health centre and was hopeful the centre could be built by 2023/24.
Chairwoman of Rackheath Community Council, Paula Lowe, and Tony Emes, Rackheath area representative of Hoveton and Wroxham Medical Centre patient participation group, said it was "desperately needed" because of hundreds of new homes planned for the village.
Outline planning permission for 205 homes with all matters reserved by Taylor Wimpey on land off Mahoney Green will be debated by Broadland District Council on October 6.
Charles Church will start building 202 homes near the NDR next month off Salhouse Road and Green Lane West, next to a plot for a Norfolk Homes development and 157 homes are also nearing completion for Flagship Homes.
Taylor Wimpey is also hoping to build thousands of homes as part of the North Rackheath Masterplan but a formal planning application is yet to be submitted.
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Mr Whymark said: "We need infrastructure. I'll do my damnedest to get a medical centre. I'm hopeful. It is very important."
A site for the purpose-built surgery is yet to be selected and would cost around £5m which has been secured from the NHS, according to Mr Whymark.
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He was hopeful the surgery would include a community midwife base and wanted dentist services.
Mr Emes, who lives in Rackheath, said said around 1,500 people from Rackheath and surrounding villages are registered at the Hoveton and Wroxham Practice but warned that could increase to 11,000 in a decade.
"We need a primary care hub," he added.
Villagers are forced to go to Hoveton and Wroxham Medical Centre or Thorpewood Surgery in Woodside Road, Norwich, which involves bus journeys.
Mrs Lowe said: "With all the houses going forward, not to have a doctors surgery would be ridiculous."
An NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical CCG spokeswoman said the organisation had been supporting discussions around the medical centre.