It’s about to get easier to book a GP appointment in Porthcawl

Porthcawl’s decade-long wait for a new health centre is almost over.

Plans for a large new primary health care centre to replace overcrowded and out-of-date GP surgeries have been given the go ahead after more parking spaces were added.

Planners approved the scheme for Newton after hearing how the applicant is in advanced discussions to put 20 off-site staff car parking spaces in an area of the car park behind nearby pub, The Globe.

The plan also includes under croft and external parking for 56 vehicles on the site in front of the new Bellway Mallards Reach housing development.

‘It will increase access to NHS services’

Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) had asked for additional information on parking arrangements after concerns were raised about the potential impact on traffic and roads.

More than 20 residents, including those living on the new Bellway estate, had officially objected to the new health centre, claiming the development was too large and out of keeping with the area and would increase traffic, potentially putting people’s safety at risk.

But hundreds of other Porthcawl residents, including doctors from the existing practices, had written to the council in support of the new development saying it would increase access to NHS services.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board has long admitted existing surgeries at the Portway and Victoria Avenue are no longer fit for purpose.

All existing patients registered to those surgeries will transfer to the new centre once it is complete.

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The new health centre has been designed to provide both GP and a wider range of health services.

The plan includes a pharmacy, 22 consulting rooms spread over two floors, six treatment rooms, a physio room and a shared minor ops room.

There will also be a baby feeding area.

Road and bus service improvements

Construction of the new health centre can now go ahead once the applicant officially secures the off-site car parking and contributes £8,000 towards highway improvements.

It must also contribute to the extension of a bus service to the site from Nottage, at the other end of Porthcawl, and via the town centre for as long as it is used as a health centre.

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Councillor Hywel Williams, BCBC’s cabinet member for communities, said: “The primary care centre is a highly significant community development and it was important to get it right in order to maximise the benefits for local people while minimising any potential impact of the scheme on residents, patients, staff and visitors.

“We have worked closely with the applicants on the details and I am pleased that the revised plans have been approved by the development control committee subject to the successful completion of a section 106 legal agreement, which is intended to deliver the additional car parking and bus service for the facility.”

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/its-easier-book-gp-appointment-11328219