A CAMPAIGNER has raised fears Colchester’s health services could be “overwhelmed” if 1,000 homes are built on Middlewick.

Middlewick Ranges, dubbed the lungs of Colchester, will see a new community built upon it after a controversial planning decision was approved last year.

The Ministry of Defence is expected to sell the land for development when firing operations move to Fingringhoe, despite masses of objections from residents.

Richard Martin, of Friends of the Middlewick, has called on Colchester Council to consider the impact the scheme will have on the city’s health services.

Gazette: Blueprints - a graphic of the plan for 1,000 homes on MiddlewickBlueprints - a graphic of the plan for 1,000 homes on Middlewick (Image: Newsquest)

He cited a 58 home planning application at the former Lookers Renault garage in Military Road, Colchester where the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning group raised concerns.

The site falls less then one mile from Middlewick.

A comment from the group reads: “These GP practices and branch surgeries do not have capacity for the additional growth resulting from this development.”

Mr Martin said: “The commissioning group said it does not require any more medical facilities for south Colchester due to a digital first approach for appointments.

“But, it turns out people still want to see their doctors.

Gazette: Controversial - the Middlewick homes plan attracted masses of objectionsControversial - the Middlewick homes plan attracted masses of objections (Image: Newsquest)

“Now there is going to be 1,000 houses and no one has factored in more medical facilities. We have to think hard about this.

“To get an appointment with the doctor is almost impossible at the moment.

“Where is the planning for what people should do when it comes to all these extra houses coming in the area?”

Middlewick was included in Section Two of Colchester’s Local Plan as part of the Government’s target to build 300,000 homes a year in England.

Gazette: Green space - Middlewick RangeGreen space - Middlewick Range (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Martin also raised his concerns during Colchester Council’s Local Plan committee meeting this week.

Karen Syrett, the Council’s lead planning officer, said she has “no problem” with contacting the health authority.

Speaking at a Local Plan committee meeting, Ms Syrett said: “I suggest we do so at the appropriate time as circumstances do change.

“The digital approach has not rolled out as we thought during Covid.

“We have still got some way to go.”