Fringe Box



The Ash Aspect: Land Set Aside For New Health Centre

Published on: 2 Jul, 2017
Updated on: 5 Jul, 2017

By David Reading

It may be too soon to celebrate – but it appears that one of the major problems for Ash, in the light of plans to build up to 400 homes on land south of Ash Lodge Drive, could be on the brink of being solved.

The company planning the estate, Bewley Homes, has announced that land has been set aside for the building of a new health centre to serve the new estate. And discussions are taking place to work out how the new centre would be funded and who would run it.

The pressure on local health services was one of the major objections raised by local people who opposed the new estate. One can wait three weeks to get a non-urgent appointment at Ash Vale Health Centre.

In a previous column, I reported rather pessimistically that it was unlikely that the money could be found to build and staff another surgery.

Land in Ash earmarked for new homes. Bewley Homes has announced that land has been set aside for the building of a new health centre to serve the new estate.

But I have received the following statement from the builders: “Andrew Morris, land director at Bewley Homes confirmed that, as part of the outline planning consent for the Bewley Homes development at Manor Farm in Ash Lodge Drive near Aldershot, a 1,200 square metre plot of land has been made available for the provision of a health facility and that the company is currently in discussion with local doctors to help deliver a suitable facility.”

That brief statement does not tell the full story, but I understand that one possible plan being discussed is to build a three-storey health centre, with space potentially for 12 doctors.

Details like that have to be ironed out, but  that model would certainly address the health care problems posed by the influx of hundreds of people.

The partners at the Bartlett Group Practice, who run Ash Vale Health Centre, tell me they are actively evaluating all options on how to accommodate the new patients. Once decisions have been reached, information will be published on the Bartlett website.

There are, of course, other concerns that are troubling local people. Not least of these is the problem of the extra traffic that will be generated by the new estate. Anyone driving along Ash Street or Manor Road in the morning or evening rush hours will tell you that the streets are already heavily congested. When the Ash crossing barrier comes down, four or five times an hour, traffic is backed up in both directions.

Four hundred new homes will equal 800 extra cars, assuming every household has two cars, which is the Surrey average. That is a problem Ash will have to live with.

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