PLANS to create a new health centre and church in Basingstoke have been delayed by several months because of legal and design problems.

Last year, The Gazette revealed Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council planned to fund a £3.2million project that would demolish St Andrew’s Methodist Church, in Western Way, South Ham, and build a new church, doctors’ surgery, dental practice and pharmacy on the site.

But the project, pencilled in for completion in 2010, is now unlikely to be completed until the summer of 2011.

Councillor James Lewin, borough Cabinet member for finance and property, said legal and design issues were behind the delay.

“It’s not life-threatening to the scheme,” he said.

But the delay has caused some upset in South Ham.

Borough ward Councillor Sean Keating said: “It’s extremely disappointing that the parties that were going to be occupants of this lovely new building have lost focus in terms of finding a solution.”

But The Reverend Marga-ret Locke-Wheaton, the minister at St Andrew’s, remained upbeat, saying the problems over the church’s need to meet charity law requirements had been resolved and it was set to sign the necessary agreements.

She said: “It’s really complex and it has taken longer than planned but we are ready to go ahead again.”

Anne Phillips, practice manager at Dr Hudson and Partners, which will occupy the surgery, said the delay on the health side had come from having to meet environmental standards imposed on new NHS buildings.

She said: “The delay is very disappointing but more frustrating because we want to get on and deliver a whole new range of services.”