New Wednesbury health centre could finally be built after 10-year wait
A long-awaited health centre could finally be built after almost 10 years.
Plans have been put in place for the surgery on land that used to house the former Kingsbury House and Resource Centre in King Street, Wednesbury.
A number of two-bedroom council houses will also be built alongside the centre, which will be based behind Wednesbury Leisure Centre.
It is not yet known when the development as a whole will start to take shape.
Planning bosses in Sandwell are due to discuss the proposals later this year, and if all goes ahead smoothly then work could start straight away.
Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Steve Eling, said it was ‘good news’ for the people of Wednesbury after such a long wait.
“It’s certainly a better health provision for people who live in Wednesbury, and something they have been calling for for quite a long time,” he said.
“It does seem to have taken quite a while. I know the health services have been talking about this for years.
“But now the planning application has gone in, it’s quite detailed and it’s taking the process forward.
“There will be six houses built alongside it too.”
Bosses at the authority have been keen to deliver a new health centre for the town, but after years of delays there had been fears it would never happen.
If plans go ahead, the existing Spires GP will be moved from its temporary mobile unit in Victoria Street, as well as all the services being run from Mesty Croft Clinic in Alma Road.
Health bosses at the NHS, Sandwell PCT and SWBH Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have been trying to identify and secure a permanent site to offer improved healthcare facilities in Wednesbury town centre since 2005 – and the demolition of Kingsbury House in 2008 proved to be the perfect opportunity.
They had not been able to move forward until now due to issues with funding, however, the council soon gained the support of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which enabled chiefs to move forward with a planning application.
The site in King Street used to house a home for elderly people, which shut down in 2008. It has been sitting empty ever since.
Along with the plans for a health centre and six homes are also a car park built to include 26 spaces.
There will be a further five disabled parking spots, space for six bicycles and an area for a light goods vehicle to park.
Jobs will become available once the centre is up and running, with space for 10 full-time staff and 20 part time.