NHS health hub gets support of planning committee

Four Bicester GPs’ surgeries could relocate to Graven Hill after a proposal to build a new healthcare facility reached an important milestone.

Published: Tuesday, 18th January 2022

On Thursday 13 January a meeting of Cherwell District Council’s planning committee resolved to support plans to construct a new health and wellbeing hub at the self-build site. The two and partially three-storey building would be built on the north side of Graven Hill and would also include a pharmacy.

The council will ensure it meets high environmental standards and is seeking £320,000 of developer contributions to improve bus links to the site.

Councillor Colin Clarke, Lead Member for Planning, said: “Graven Hill is home to the UK’s largest site for people who want to build their own homes. As the town grows, this facility will provide for the needs of the existing and future population.

“We understand that it is a popular choice with the medical profession and will support the training of new doctors. The building will be in keeping with the design code of the wider Graven Hill development and include an attractive sensory garden and landscaping.”

A consultation of GP practices in the town by the NHS Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group found that they supported a move to Graven Hill.

As a condition of planning permission, the applicant would need to provide funding to improve public transport links to the new healthcare facility making it easier for people to get there by bus.

Conditions will also ensure that the hub has high environmental credentials: 48 solar panels for the building and a BREEAM excellent rating.

The application also covers a new highway access road, a 223 space car park, electric vehicle charging facilities and other associated infrastructure.

The applicant says the health hub could open as early as 2023. It would have 69 clinical rooms and provide care for 50,000 people from the wider area.

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