Plans revealed for much-needed ‘state-of-the-art’ healthcare hub
Date published: 13 May 2020
What the Milnrow Health Hub would look like (from the planning and delivery statement)
Plans have been revealed for a ‘state-of-the-art’ healthcare hub which will provide a new home for two GP practices currently operating from ‘entirely unsuitable’ premises.
The proposals would see a three-storey centre built at the Parkside Stables site, off Newhey Road, alongside the Metrolink track, in Milnrow.
It would provide a much-needed replacement health facility for Milnrow Village Practice and Stonefield Street Surgery, both of which are ‘stretched’ and operating above capacity.
The scheme is being driven by GPs at the two surgeries together with United Healthcare Developments – and has the backing of the borough’s clinical commissioning group (CCG).
A statement submitted with the planning application states that both practices ‘urgently require additional space to meet demand whilst maintaining the quality of service and care for patients’.
It adds that investing in alterations to the current premises would only deliver a ‘short term, temporary solution’, meaning the only realistic option is to relocate the surgeries elsewhere in the catchment area.
Setting out the benefits of the proposed facility, which would accommodate 82 employees, it states: “The Milnrow Health Hub will consolidate both practices in a state-of-the-art facility to better meet patient needs.
“Furthermore, it will allow the practices to meet growing patient demand whilst offering additional and expanded wrap around care to the benefit of patients. In turn this can improve health and wellbeing in the area.”
The new ‘integrated’ hub – which also boasts a pharmacy – would allow services to be provided which are currently restricted due to a lack of adequate space and facilities.
Set out across three floors it features consulting and examination spaces, treatment rooms and a minor operations facility, while administration and amenity spaces are provided at various levels.
The health element is primarily situated between the ground and first floors, with the ground floor also offering a reception and pharmacy. Part of the upper floors are allocated for future healthcare and community uses to cater for future population growth and demand.
There would be 68 car parking bays -of which six are disabled – four motorcycle spaces, 14 cycle spaces and one delivery space.
The three-quarter acre site close to Milnrow Memorial Park was chosen as the most appropriate for the hub after a ‘lengthy and thorough’ search was carried out.
It is situated in in the green belt, which means ‘very special circumstances’ will have to be proven for planning permission to be granted.
The site is largely previously developed brownfield land, and a consultant’s assessment suggests the proposals will result in only a negligible’ change to the existing landscape.
Set back as far from Newhey Road as possible the impact on the existing views towards the green space beyond is said to be ‘minimised as far as possible’.
A planning statement also points to the fact ‘there is a critical need to meet growing healthcare demand’ while existing premises in Milnrow are already operating at or above capacity – meaning additional healthcare space is urgently needed.
Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter
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