A HOUSING developer has been asked not to start work on its plans to regenerate Winklebury until it can guarantee that a new medical centre will be built.

Vivid housing association is planning to build 203 highly sustainable new homes, along with 4.5 acres of public open green space, a new pre-school, a community centre, a medical centre and pharmacy, public play area, and a new retail hub with parking.

Councillors voted to approve the plans at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, November 8.

READ MORE: Permission granted for major regeneration of Winklebury

Basingstoke Gazette: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council councillor Abigail Compton-Burnett has written to Vivid

It has not been made clear whether the medical centre can definitely go ahead and Cllr Abigail Compton-Burnett has since written to Vivid calling for confirmation.

Cllr Compton-Burnett said: "There has not been a working health centre in Winklebury for over four years, leaving most elderly, disabled people and parents with young children having to travel to Popley, Rooksdown or the town centre to have an appointment with a nurse or GP.

"Winklebury residents are full of pride for their community and rightly so, but this community also has some of the highest rates of major chronic health conditions in the borough, needing regular access to expert NHS healthcare."

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She continued: "That means getting assurances from the NHS that the funding is available and committed. If we get the houses without the medical centre, that will exacerbate Winklebury's problems and mean that we are being asked to take an increased population without the supporting infrastructure. It will make our problems worse.

SEE ALSO: Vivid's plans for Winklebury come under fire at committee

"Vivid has planning permission, but that in itself is not a guarantee of the medical centre being delivered. I have therefore written to Vivid asking for their assurance that before they dig the first turf, they will obtain an absolute guarantee that the medical centre will definitely be funded and staffed.

“I understand that the local Integrated Care Board is developing its Estates Strategy for North Hampshire and I have asked for the proposed Winklebury Health Centre to be included as a priority within that strategy. We need this facility at the heart of Winklebury to help the residents of Winklebury and Manydown to have access to the NHS health services that they need."

Tristan Samuels, group development and new business director at Vivid, added: "We are committed to delivering a vibrant and locally sustainable new centre with a range of shops, community facilities and health facilities for the residents of Winklebury. We believe good place-making needs infrastructure to support it and as we will be working with residents, stakeholders, and local leaders for many years to come, we want to see it developed in a sustainable manner.  

"The Integrated Care Board (formerly Clinical Commissioning Group) are supportive of the application and are engaging in discussions with us regarding the delivery of services from the proposed medical centre."

A spokesperson from the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board said it is currently "working closely with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council" to discuss what the future health provision looks like".

They said: "We will continue to work with the council and the developer as the plans progress to ensure that there is capacity to meet the health needs of the local population.”