PLANS to demolish a former GP practice and replace it with a new state-of-the-art medical centre have been unveiled.

Abdullah’s Lily Limited has applied to Colchester Council for planning permission to pull down the old Layer Road Surgery and replace it with a new centre specialising in endoscopy, the process of examining the inside of the body using cameras.

The firm says the new medical centre would also assist with Covid vaccinations and treatment.

A report says the centre will be the first centre to treat obesity endoscopically - which can mean the fitting of gastric bands - in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

It says: “The proposal will make a positive contribution to Layer Road by bringing back into use a building which has been empty for almost three years and has suffered from anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

“This will reduce the risk of this sort of behaviour within the locality, to the benefit of all.

“The lack of maintenance due to the building being unused has allowed the external walls and roof to become degraded and unsightly.

“There, the development proposals to have this community-based health care centre was thought to not only maintain the old use of the building, but also provide Covid-19 vaccination, testing and after-care advice for those who have Covid-19 infection.

“In addition to this, the medical facility will relieve pressure from already overwhelmed hospitals and it will massively help clearing the huge backlog in endoscopy procedures caused and worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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Plans also include the creation of 15 one-bed and one two-bed apartments on the second floor of the premises.

These will be used as staff accommodation with 27 parking spaces provided.

New Layer Road medical centre


The report added: “Optimising facilities including staff accommodation will help retaining staff employees, which is a major problem for most organisations.

“This will help the organisation run smoothly without interruption due to staff leave.

“The works will include extension to the existing car parking area, improvement to the access driveway and a new exit to facilitate vehicular circulation, and removal and trimming down of overgrown trees and shrubs within the site.”

Layer Road Surgery closed in 2017 with patients moved to Creffield Medical Centre.

Colchester Council will have the final say on the plans.