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Peters Village in Wouldham still waiting for GP surgery promised by developer Trenport

It's been promised for years, but there is still no sign of a medical centre on a major new housing development.

Provision for a doctor's surgery was one of the planning conditions imposed when Trenport won permission for its 1,000-home development at Peters Village in Wouldham.

An artist's impression of the proposed Peters Village medical centre at Wouldham
An artist's impression of the proposed Peters Village medical centre at Wouldham

Hundreds of homes have already been built since construction began in 2017, and although Trenport has delivered on other promises such as Peter Bridge over the River Medway, and more recently the opening of a Co-op store on the estate, along with two other retail units and a community centre, the GP surgery is still missing.

The plan is for the doctor's to be operated by the Phoenix Practice, which has an existing surgery in Eccles. Its development partner, Assura Aspire Ltd, had its designs approved by Tonbridge and Malling council in October 2020. They show a two-storey building with nine consulting rooms, supported by a 20-place car park.

But work has got no further than the digging of a trench to contain the foundations, and the laying of an underground water main.

A spokesman for Trenport said: "We have implemented the planning consent for the medical centre (by starting on the trench) at Peters Village and discussions are ongoing with the NHS regarding the delivery of the medical centre.

"In addition to this, a Section 106 financial contribution has been agreed, which will be spent on the delivery of the medical centre."

Hoardings around the site of the proposed medical centre at Peters Village
Hoardings around the site of the proposed medical centre at Peters Village

Assura declined to comment.

The Phoenix Practice also did not want to comment, but refered us to NHS Kent and Medway, who said: "The new build for Phoenix Medical Practice was approved by the former Clinical Commissioning Group over two years ago.

"The approval process remains ongoing as final agreements are reached.

“NHS Kent and Medway are keen to see it progressed.

"The new medical centre for Phoenix Medical Practice is a key part of the strategy for the area.”

The existing Phoenix surgery annexe at Eccles
The existing Phoenix surgery annexe at Eccles

Meanwhile, Trenport is pressing ahead with plans to build another 1,150 homes at nearby Eccles, at a location known as Bushey Wood.

The company submitted a planning application to Tonbridge and Malling council in January last year.

In February this year, it announced that it would be appealing to the government's planning inspectorate on the basis of "non-determination."

However since then National Highways, which is a statutory consultee, has said the application should not be decided until at least May 15, because Trenport has not submitted sufficient information on the impact on nearby motorways.

The Eccles plan is fiercely opposed by existing villagers – it has attracted 800 letters of objection – even though Trenport is promising to build new allotments, playing fields, a school and "village hub."

Campaigner Steve Beadle
Campaigner Steve Beadle

Eccles resident Terry Johnson said: "Until and unless Trenport delivers on its promises at Peters Village, how can we trust anything they say about Bushey Wood?"

Steve Beadle is the chairman of the Eccles Action Group, which is opposed to the Bushey Wood Scheme.

He said: "It's not just the surgery. Trenport also promised for Peters Village to provide an improved bus service for the area.

"That hasn't happened, and the surgery still seems a million miles away."

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