Land for new Bexhill medical centre to be made available

Plans which could lead to a new medical centre being built in Bexhill are set to go before Rother council leaders next week. 

Monday, 4th January 2021, 2:34 pm
View of the proposed site from Beeching Road (photo from Google Maps Street View)

On Monday (January 11), Rother District Council cabinet members are set to consider proposals to lease land at Wainwright Road to a group planning to build a medical centre on the site. 

The land – which forms part of the former Sharwood factory – is currently is being used, on a temporary basis, as a COVID-19 testing centre.

According to council, the medical centre would be intended to offer larger and more modern premises for the Collington, Sidley and Sea Road surgeries. 

Site location in blue

In a report to be considered by cabinet members, a council officer said: “The proposal represents best value for money for the council by facilitating much-needed improvements to local healthcare provision, meeting the requirements of the GP practices and the CCG. 

“It also represents a good financial return for the council in the longer term, with the potential for additional financial and regeneration benefits from the remainder of the site.”

Previously the Collington and Sea Road surgeries had been planning to open a new medical centre in place of St Barnabus Church in Sea Road.

However, the council says this scheme stalled due to delays in securing the necessary approvals from the Diocese of Chichester and the developer approached the council to see what alternatives may be open to them.

At the same time, the council was also approached by the GP practice operating Sidley surgery regarding their future requirements.

The GPs have now formally confirmed Wainwright Road as their preferred option, in place of St Barnabus Church and are working with developer Medical Centre Developments Ltd.

It is proposed that Medical Centre Developments Ltd will take a ground lease for the site and develop a new surgery and pharmacy. On completion the developer will receive a rent from the GP practices, based on a formula approved by the East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). 

While cabinet members are asked to agree the granting of a lease in principle, council officers say a full lease would not come into effect until planning permission and funding for the project has been agreed.

The lease would also depend on investigations showing no serious adverse ground conditions or contamination on site.

Huw Oxburgh , Local Democracy Reporting Service