Resort's new medical centre plans unveiled

Gazette: Works – plans for a medical centre, inset, have been unveiled for Martello Caravan Park, Walton Works – plans for a medical centre, inset, have been unveiled for Martello Caravan Park, Walton

A PLAN has been unveiled to create a new state-of-the-art medical centre in Walton.

The planning application has been launched to build the new surgery, a pharmacy and extracare apartments on Martello Caravan Park.

It has been described as the next step in Walton’s regeneration.

Planning approval has already been granted for a Tesco superstore, car park and petrol station at the front of the Martello site.

The latest plan, submitted by developers Ashley House, includes building a new surgery in an area behind the prospective store on the main caravan site.

It will use the Martello Tower on the site as the focal point in the middle of the medical centre, apartments and pharmacy.

Ashley House has drawn up the newplans with bosses at Walton’s surgery in Vicarage Lane.

It is hoped a new medical centre could bring surgeries back from the brink of crisis, which are struggling due to a lack of full-time staff.

Walton councillor John Halls said: “Any new medical centre being built in our area is a positive, providing we can get the doctors in to staff it.

“Our surgeries are really struggling and having new stateof- the-art facilities could make us a more attractive destination.

“I understand there are other medical centre plans in the pipeline for different sites in the area. It will be a case of looking at them as they come up and seeing what will benefit residents and best regenerate our town.”

The development will take up one section of the caravan site, while the rest will continue to operate as a holiday park.

Future steps in the Martello masterplan include building homes on other parts of the site.

In the planning application, Ashley House development manager Linzi Knights said: “The relocation of the Vicarage Lane practice aims to ensure the longterm sustainability of health care services in the area.

“It would address key issues, such as population growth and the needs of an ageing population.”

As well as providing a key medical facility, the application says the development would showcase the Martello Tower as a landmark.

The extra-care flats will include 60 self-contained units for residents who can live independently but sometimes need extra care.

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