New health centre on the cards for Shoebury

Families in Shoebury could finally get their long-awaited new health centre as part of new plans revealed by Southend Council.

The council’s own building company, Southend LLP, has set its sights on making the most of sites it owns in Delaware Road, Shoebury.

These include Delaware House, the former Thorpedene Library and health clinic and Thorpedene Community Centre. There is also a car park.

A much-needed new health centre was once proposed for Gunners Park, near the garrison development, but it did not materialise.

Now, the council says it could be included in plans for the Thorpedene site, possibly alongside new homes.

A report to Southend councillors, on the policy and resources scrutiny committee, said: “Following the merging together of Friars and Thorpedene libraries into part of Shoebury Youth Centre, the first floor, which was home to Thorpedene Library, is now obsolete and ready for redevelopment.

“The NHS is redoubling its efforts to deliver the Shoebury Health Centre project which will leave the clinic on the ground floor surplus and vacant.”

The report added: “The site does offer a good development opportunity and agreeing in principle to opt the land in will enable the council and a private sector partnership to work closely together with the NHS and current occupiers to plan and assess the viability of the site for a range of options including a residential led development or a health centre led development subject to further conversations with the NHS. In either scenario, community facilities would also be part of the essential requirement to be delivered.”

Shoeburyness Residents’ Association welcomed the proposal. Vice-chairman Peter Lovett said: “Delaware will be an ideal place because it is the area with the  most young families. It’s just getting everyone together to make this happen. We keep hearing about this but nothing happens. Last we heard it was going to be in Gunners Park but they changed their minds because it’s on a flood plain.

“We would support this no end. We’ve been pushing for this for 15 years. If they build all the houses they are talking about for Shoebury this will be a Godsend because our doctors are under such pressure people can’t get appointments.”

A spokesperson for the NHS clinical commissioning group said: “Shoebury Health Centre development is an important piece of work and we are looking at sites through an appraisal process over the next three months.

“Once this has been completed it will inform us of the size and complexity of the proposed build and approximate timescale for each option”.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter