Primary Care Trust say they want the Asda site!

Things became very interesting today.All the District Councillors received a letter from the Primary Care Trust. Basically the Trust are saying that they want to provide a pretty elaborate medical facility at the Park School site. Of course, that’s where Asda want to build their supermarket. And Asda can’t be turned down just because somebody else wants to build something there.

So at the moment it looks like all those residents who are asking for better facilities are going to be disappointed again. But it does make tomorrow night’s planning meeting even more significant.

Anyway, here is the letter:

15th February 2006

To: All Council Members of the Planning Committee

Dear

Re: Health Plans for Rawreth Lane

I presented at the recent Rayleigh Overview and Scrutiny Meeting on our plans for improving Primary Care. Following this meeting at which the Rawreth Lane site was discussed, I thought it appropriate to write to members of the planning meeting scheduled for next week to ensure you were up to date with our progress to develop an Integrated Health Centre for Rayleigh.

This is as follows:

– Representatives of the PCT met with the Developers and Asda to discuss potential space. However, the space offered was inadequate. I wrote to Paul Warren last month advising him of this but confirming our interest in the entire site. In fact we would need the majority of the site, for a health development allowing the remaining element for a neighbourhood development which might for example be retail/shopping space.

– Our desire for the site reflects our commitment for an ?Integrated Development?, as set out in our Strategic Service Development Plan, it would include:

– District Nursing, Health Visiting and Social Services.

– GP services (ideally a partnership with the Audley Mills practice, but this depends on our discussions)

– A range of Out-Patients and Diagnostic Services currently provided from Southend Hospital, but which could be provided locally for Rochford District Council residents.

– A Pharmacy

– Possibly a Dental Practice

NB. There may be other service requirements which would emerge from our consultation with Rayleigh residents

The Development would be phase 2 of our Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) development. We have already secured a site for such a development to serve Castle Point residents on Canvey Island and have secured ?Outline Planning?. With regard to Rayleigh we have commissioned a site survey and are very keen to accelerate our plans to have a similar development in Rayleigh.

However, from our knowledge of Rayleigh the availability of sites of the size we require and in the area required, suggests at this stage that such a development may not be possible. You will appreciate therefore that our preferred and indeed ?ideal? site is Rawreth Lane.

In summary, we would very much like to be in a position to build an Integrated Health Centre in Rayleigh but our ability to do this depends on the availability of a site. I can assure you that were Rawreth Lane available for medical use both the PCT and the Hospital are committed to the development as outlined in this letter.

Such a development would be fantastic for the local population and I hope you will give this consideration at your forthcoming planning committee.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Malcolm McCann
Chief Executive