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Councillors urge MP to intervene on new GP surgery for Bishop's Stortford

Bishop's Stortford's MP has asked the Health Secretary to step in and help deliver a new practice for South Street GPs.

Julie Marson has written to Steve Barclay after the Indie a fortnight ago highlighted the financial impasse between the NHS and developer Frontier Estates.

The developer was given planning permission for new medical facilities in 2021 as part of the neighbourhood centre for Stortford Fields, but now claims it cannot afford to deliver the premises at a price the NHS is able to pay.

Michael Gove, Steve Barclay and Julie Marson (62776091)
Michael Gove, Steve Barclay and Julie Marson (62776091)

Mrs Marson urged Mr Barclay: "May I ask you to encourage the NHS to get back around the table with Frontier, please? I appreciate that it's Frontier who have been the stumbling block but I am concerned that a great opportunity for healthcare provision in East Hertfordshire will be missed if an agreement cannot be reached."

She intervened at the urging of her fellow Conservatives, Herts county and East Herts district councillor Graham McAndrew and town councillor Cllr Shane Manning, who have shared her correspondence with the Indie.

Cllr Manning, who thanked the newspaper for highlighting the South Street doctors' concerns, said: "As chairman of the town council planning committee, I have consistently challenged developers to make good on their promises to local residents. This is one of the worst examples of them not doing that.

South Street Surgery - present and future? (62776120)
South Street Surgery - present and future? (62776120)

"I'm not against development in our town. I am against developments that don't deliver what they promise and developments that don't provide the infrastructure needed to make them work."

Mrs Marson has also written to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, asking him to address those concerns.

She told him: "I wonder if this speaks to a wider problem around developers being able to renege on promises made at the planning stage so easily. Frontier's public statement claims record build cost inflation prevents them from delivering the surgery.

"However, this was a plan that was already promised and was a key reason why the scheme received planning permission. Is it possible to build greater safeguards into the planning process to ensure that developers keep their word?"

Shane Manning and Graham McAndrew (62776338)
Shane Manning and Graham McAndrew (62776338)

Cllr McAndrew said that Mrs Marson had pledged to visit the senior GP and managing partner at South Street, Dr Sarah Dixon, next week.

He said: "We remain determined to see the original concept of the doctors' surgery fulfilled."

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