Concerns over proposed new GP surgery

Councillor Phil King
Councillor Phil King

A plan to build a health centre on a greenfield site is proving to be controversial and is facing objections from residents.

Agents have submitted plans for a new health centre in Kibworth which would replace the existing facility in Smeeton Road.

It provides services to 8,500 patients in Kibworth Harcourt, Kibworth Beauchamp, Smeeton Westerby and other nearby villages.

The new two-storey building would be on farmland off Smeeton Road if the planning application was approved.

The new facility would include treatment and waiting rooms on the ground floor and offices on the first floor.

It would employ 20 medical and administration staff.

District councillor Phil King, one of the ward member for Kibworth, said: “No-one is against improved health care.

“Any improvements are welcome. The concern is that this is a two-storey building with 63 parking spaces on the greenbelt between Kibworth Beachamp and Smeeton Westerby.”

Cllr King said other smaller planning applications for the same site have been refused after going to Government appeals.

“There are some questions about whether this is the right place for a super duper new health centre and I think that the answer is probably not,” Cllr King added.

He suggested there are other far more suitable places for a health centre in the area.

There have been 34 objections to the application and 14 in support. One Smeeton Westerby resident commenting on the plan said: “I can anticipate an increased volume of traffic into and out of Smeeton Road on to Kibworth High Street, adding to congestion early in the morning and mid-afternoon as Kibworth High School’s day starts and finishes.

“Traffic at these times is already extremely busy.

A spokesman for Boyer Planning, which is the agents for the proposal, said: “A new health centre in Kibworth has been identified as a top priority within Harborough district.

“The existing health centre has insufficient consulting and treatment rooms and difficulties with providing access for the disabled.

“There is also inadequate car parking which gives rise to patients parking on Smeeton Road.”