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Due to its position in the Green Belt, the latest planning application has to be submitted to the Secretary of State. It is not clear how long this will take!

Below is the  press release  from a group which was in favour of the new medical centre at Lynwood

"GROWING SUPPORT FROM THE COMMUNITY FOR THE PROPOSED COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRE"

The new planning application for the proposed health centre at BEN Lynwood has captured the attention of so many in the community with the recognition of the pressing need for improved health facilities.   There is an urgent need to provide for current and future health care, particularly primary and community care and there is an emerging plan for the population of the Ascot area to have a health hub structure with two points of delivery, one at Heatherwood Hospital and one at Lynwood Village.   Magnolia House and Kings Corner Surgeries would relocate to the Lynwood Village site.

The unique circumstances of the proposed health centre development on green belt land owned by the charity, Benevolent fund, require the need to establish Very Special Circumstances.   The doctors have done much work on this, there is also unprecedented support from NHS England and from the Clinical Commissioning Groups of East Berkshire.   The community themselves have done much soul searching and so far 290 people have written letters of support.

The definition of the site as a gap between villages is another issue and confusing to many as there are houses on one side of Rise Road.   In fact when the health centre is built there will still be a gap that will be landscaped green space for the community to enjoy.

There are dissenting voices including the parish councils, but after two excellent presentations by the doctors, the CCG and the designers, there is the opportunity for those in the community to give their views to the planning department at RBWM.  This unique opportunity for our community and their healthcare needs where a charitable non-profit organisation are gifting the land to the community and will build the new health centre, the NHS will provide the funding to kit out the building and the doctors and staff of Magnolia House and Kings Corner surgeries will come together, is a perfect solution to the urgent need for the current and future healthcare needs of this special community.

Christine Gadd former chairman of Sunningdale parish council said “This is such a fantastic opportunity and we should seize it, but it needs the support of the community to make it happen.   I encourage you to write a letter of support to the Planning department at RBWM.   Head your letter Planning Application 17/01188 – Community Health Centre, and the email address is planning@rbwm.gov.uk .   These letters will help in the determination of the planning application, so it is now up to us all to make it happen if that is what we want.”        

Several neighbours have objected to this level of activity - especially with a commercial pharmacy in the mix - in the Green Belt. Some seek guarantees that the site would for ever remain in NHS control and not revert to commercial activity - in other words there is some suspicion that this could be using an NHS use to justify the 'very special circumstances' needed to gain planning permission in the Green Belt.

On the 23 May 2017, the planning application for the new Medical Centre at Ben Lynwood (17/01188) was reviewed by the Planning Committee of Sunningdale Parish Council. See https://sunningdale-pc.org.uk/2017/06/21/statement-re-ben-lynwood-medical-centre/ 

The Sunningdale Parish Council statement says: "With an obligation to review the application based upon the planning regulations included in the National Planning Policy Framework, the RBWM Local Plan and the Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale Neighbourhood Plan, the quorate Planning Committee were obliged to Object to the application due to contraventions of Planning policies.  This decision must stand until there are amends to the planning application and would not be reviewed either by Council or the Committee until this point."

In other words, the Parish Council feels almost obliged to register an objection - as the proposed  medical centre plans are contrary to planning policies, including those in the Ascot & Sunnings Neighbourhood Plan - which was voted through with massive public approval. A bit like the Government having to implement Brexit perhaps !

Doctor Prash Patel  of Magnolia House, says: "The NHS has struggled for a number of reasons and for a number of years, however, since the financial troubles of 2008, a watershed moment was reached. Infrastructure, recruitment of Doctors, Nurses and almost every other part of the GP team has come under unprecedented strain. Change is being attempted nationally but resources will remain scant even though the needs of our community will increase at a rate not seen before. Despite these troubles we have locally been given a chance to expand and defend against this crisis with a splendid gift of generosity by a charity with deep links to our local people. By investing in a new medical centre and uniquely at no cost to the NHS or the tax payer we have the chance of bringing some balance to the workforce crisis locally, as well as, a means of improving services for the community. If we do nothing, we risk years of service deterioration and attracting a future workforce may simply become toxic. New training GP doctors and nurses who qualify are desperate to stay and work within our fantastic community, however, if we basically do not have a room or a desk then they will have no choice but to seek pastures new.

The planning application will be considered by the Royal Borough in due course, taking into account the community's comments over the coming weeks.