Long wait over for Colne’s new health centre

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A MULTI-MILLION pound health centre is set to be built in Colne — after councillors gave plans the green light.

Members of Pendle Council’s Colne and District Committee approved proposals submitted by East Lancashire Building Partnership and NHS East Lancashire for the erection of a three storey health centre at the old Kwik Save, in Craddock Road.

The supermarket building has already been demolished.

Services from the current centre, in Market Street, will be relocated, and according to the application’s “Design and Access Statement”, Pendle patients will also benefit from an improvement to NHS East Lancashire’s range of services.

While concerns were raised about parking issues on surrounding streets, including Newtown Street, councillors stated that they did not want to delay the building of the site any further.

They passed the proposals, subject to a traffic management and parking plan, and also asked for a review to be submitted of parking in Newtown Street.

Talking at the meeting, Coun. Joe Cooney said: “This is good news. It is something that has been going on longer than I think I have been on the council.

“We can look at resident’s parking.”

Coun. Tony Greaves said: “From a Colne point of view, we have been trying to get this health centre built on this site for the last seven to eight years.

“It involved lots and lots of discussions and arguments with the Primary Care Trust and the NHS.

“I do think we have been messed about by the Primary Care Trust for years and we have been messed about this year, with them getting the application in so late. I think we’re having our arms twisted.”

And Coun. Ann Kerrigan added: “I’m really pleased that we have got an application for a health centre in Colne. I want to make that absolutely clear.”

Considerable effort was made to find a site suitable enough for the larger health centre.

Various areas were considered, including potential redevelopment sites off North Valley Road, Vivary Way, Dockray Street and Market Street, but were discounted on the grounds of suitability.

Construction work is expected to take around 12 months.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has said he is “delighted that these exciting proposals have taken another big step forward”, and said that he wants to see the new health centre open soon.

He said: “I have campaigned for this new centre for some time as the current health centre is cramped and no longer fit for purpose.

“I will be keeping up the pressure as I want to see the new health centre open as soon as possible.”