New medical centre in Seaton Delaval that could house two GP practices granted planning permission

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A Northumberland GP practice has been granted planning permission to build a new medical centre.

Northumbria Primary Care will build the facilities in Seaton Delaval to house Elsdon Avenue Surgery, which currently operates from a building that is too small and showing signs of age.

Seaton Terrace Surgery, also located in Seaton Delaval, is also considering relocating to the new building after it is built.

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Both surgeries are part of the Northumbria Primary Care network, which is an independently run subsidiary of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The health centre will include a waiting area, staff facilities and various treatment and consulting rooms. (Photo by Northumbria Primary Care)The health centre will include a waiting area, staff facilities and various treatment and consulting rooms. (Photo by Northumbria Primary Care)
The health centre will include a waiting area, staff facilities and various treatment and consulting rooms. (Photo by Northumbria Primary Care)

The two storey health centre, to be built on a patch of open space on Blackhaugh Drive, will include a waiting area, staff facilities, various treatment and consulting rooms, and parking.

Construction is now likely to begin in the coming months with the new medical centre opening in summer 2025.

In their report on the application, Northumberland County Council planning officers said: “Whilst the loss of protected open space and non-protected open space is regrettable, the local planning authority recognises the clear public benefits that would arise from the proposals.

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“In this instance, the local planning authority considers that when applying the planning balance the public benefits outweigh the level of harm, thus ensuring the principle of development on site is acceptable.”

Elsdon Avenue Surgery is currently based at a former library building that is over 50 years old and its tenancy at the site will run out in 2025, with building maintenance costs “not sustainable.”

According to planning documents, the surgery is too small for the patient roll and does not meet modern NHS standards, with issues including a leaky roof, degrading concrete and cladding, poor insulation, and a lack of level access to some fire escapes.

There is also no patient or ambulance parking at the current site and restricted space means it is difficult to bring in further clinical staff or offer medical students placements.

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According to planning documents: “The proposed new medical centre will enable services to be maintained within the village and will provide modern healthcare facilities which will protect the practice into the future, and enable them to deliver dramatically improved healthcare services within the area.”

It is hoped the new facilities would provide better patient care, a better working environment for staff, and secure the future of primary care facilities in the village.

Seaton Terrace Surgery has launched a consultation, which will run until June 21, on whether or not it will join Elsdon Avenue Surgery at the new facilities, with the practice encouraging patients to get in touch and share their views.

A statement on the surgery’s website said: “This proposed move will provide us with more clinical space and an improved and modern environment.

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“We believe this proposed change of location will improve both patient and staff experience and allow us the opportunity to increase our clinical capacity.

Patients will not have to do anything about this proposed move. All patients will remain registered with our practice.”

Seaton Terrace was among the surgeries that joined Northumbria Primary Care in January when it took over Valens Medical Partnership.

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