Health centre gets green light

Posted on October 12, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: |

Sunderland Echo | By Ross Robertson | Sunderland tPCT | 12 October 2009

Wearside’s fourth walk-in health centre has been given the green light.

Health chiefs have been granted planning permission to build a new Primary Care Centre at Houghton Sports Complex.

There will be a 24-bed rehabilitation unit, physiotherapy suite, staff facilities, dental services, diagnostic services – including breast screening – and a cafe.

The Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (STPCT) have opened similar centres at Grindon Lane, Bunny Hill and Washington.

Copt Hill councillor Bob Herron said: “I remember 30 years ago campaigning for a cottage hospital for Houghton and Hetton.

“We’ve got both (the ones] we wanted now.

“Houghton and Washington – and people will probably get better services from this than they would have from a cottage hospital.”

As reported in the Echo, STPCT announced it would build the fourth care centre in Houghton last year, and Sunderland City Council agreed to sell land at Houghton Sports Complex for the development. It will make use of land now occupied by a run-down tennis court and disused play area.

It will also mean the skate park at the centre has to be moved and noise-prevention systems put in place to stop it bothering neighbours.

The SPCT had hoped to install a wind turbine, but concerns over noise meant this element has been taken out of the plans for further consideration.

Independent councillor Colin Wakefield, who represents Copt Hill, said the development was very welcome but he was not happy facilities at the sports complex had been allowed to fall into disrepair.

“Firstly, it’s obviously a great development for the people of Houghton and the surrounding area, and I think it’s very important.

“But I was a bit disappointed to see the condition of the facilities – the football pitch and tennis court in disuse and not in proper repair. I suppose if that had not been the case it would have meant the centre being built in another location.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to approve planning permission, sealing the deal on the land sale. A clause in the deal stated that if planning permission was refused, the council would buy the land back from the STPCT on the same terms.

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