Plan for new GP surgery and 130 homes in growing village revealed

How the new Rackheath Medical Centre could look if approved by Broadland District Council

How the new Rackheath Medical Centre could look if approved by Broadland District Council - Credit: Chaplin Farrant

A village which could soon welcome 130 new homes may also see its first medical centre built after the NHS unveiled its vision for a new GP base.

Outline plans for the medical hub in Green Lane East on the edge of Rackheath were backed by Broadland District Council in June last year.

The proposal also includes up to 130 homes, some of which will be affordable, and a 92-unit extra care independent living complex.

Loddon-based Halsbury Homes will build the 130 homes and Saffron Housing Trust will build the independent community development but detailed plans are yet to be revealed for these projects.

The NHS has now lodged a reserved matters application for the medical centre which would be over two floors and include midwifery services, according to Conservative district and county councillor for Rackheath, Fran Whymark.

An NHS Norfolk and Waveney spokesman said NHS England was expected to formally approve the business case for the centre by September 2022.

He said: “Assuming the approval process goes to plan, work is expected to start on site 2023 with the opening of a modern health centre to support provision of general medical services and outpatient services from the acute trust and community services, anticipated in 2024.”

Rackheath parish and district councillor, Fran Whymark. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Rackheath parish and district councillor, Fran Whymark. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Mr Whymark, who has lived in Rackheath for more than 20 years, said: "The medical centre is important because Rackheath is getting enormous development.

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"It is getting a lot of houses and people are moving into the new homes. When the Rackheath Neighbourhood Plan was put forward in 2015 a medical centre was at the top of people's list."

The village has around 1,000 homes, there are around 500 being built and nearly 4,000 extra homes could be built on the edge of the village.

But it does not have a GP practice and the closest ones are Hoveton and Wroxham Medical Centre and Thorpewood Medical Group in Woodside Road, Norwich.

He also backed the new affordable homes and the extra care independent living complex, for the over 55s, because it helped with the housing crisis.

Images of Swallowtail Place in Acle, being built by Saffron Housing

Images of Swallowtail Place in Acle, being built by Saffron Housing, which is similar to how the independent community living plus development could look like in Rackheath if approved - Credit: Saffron Housing

Joe Bootman, land and planning manager for Saffron Housing, said Natural England's nutrient neutrality ruling had delayed its plans and building could start in 2024.