Medical centre still part of plan for Somerdale, says developer

Published on: 04 Feb 2015

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A developer has moved to allay concerns that plans for a new medical centre at the Somerdale site had been dropped.

Objections have been raised to MF Freeman’s proposals to transform the three factory blocks at site, creating a care home in one, because a surgery didn't appear
in the plans submitted to Bath and North East Somerset planners.

But Taylor Wimpey, however, which is building up to 700 new homes at Somerdale, said a new medical centre was still part of the plan for the development.

A spokesperson said: “We have existing consent to develop a medical centre at Somerdale and plan to include this within our future reserved matters applications.
However, its location is yet to be decided. We see this as a key part of the redevelopment of the Somerdale site, and our agents are currently establishing a database of organisations which might be interested in acquiring the space.”

St Augustine’s Surgery on Station Road has support to “pursue a new development in this location” to meet the needs of residents in the area, said NHS England, which has objected to the plans on the grounds they didn’t include a new surgery and added that the inclusion of a large care home would “bring severe pressure on primary care services in the area”.

Luke Freeman, joint managing director of MF Freeman, said his team was looking at whether the medical centre would be included in the factory development or elsewhere on the Somerdale site.

Councillors at B&NES are now due to decide whether to grant permission for MF Freeman's proposal to create a 135-bed care home in Block B of the former
Cadbury factory and employment space in Block C, which the developer says will offer more than 1,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Block A already has permission for 113 apartments. The care home would replace a previously approved 60- to 70-bed care home at Somerdale, the planned site of which will be used to create 30 extra homes instead under the proposals.

Keynsham Town Council's planning committee is supporting the plans. If planning permission is granted, MF Freeman says it will take around 18 months to convert
Block B into a care home and hopes to complete a visitor suite for potential employers in Block C by the end of the year.

Meanwhile the company is hoping to retain the iconic Cadbury's sign, setting it into the surface of a new public plaza outside the factory blocks.

The plans can be viewed in full on Bath and North East Somerset Council's website here. Public consultation closes on February 5.

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