Plan for Basildon GP surgery to reopen temporarily in Portakabin on sports field

Patients of a Basildon GP surgery could be seeing their doctor in a prefab on a sports field.

New proposals have been submitted for a temporary GP surgery for thousands of patients to replace a practice closed because it was unsafe.

Knights Surgery, in Basildon, has applied to build a portacabin at Basildon Sporting Village to use as a temporary doctor surgery for three years.

The original surgery was closed in 2019 after it was deemed unsafe to occupy by Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group due to a structural defect, according to a design and access statement by Portakabin Ltd.

The statement continues to reveal a previous application was made to provide a larger temporary home for the surgery last year, but this was later withdrawn.

A section reads: “An application was made in 2020 to accommodate this but the operation was much larger then, and not enough thought was given to the impact the proposal may have.

“In the year between, other sites have been looked at and considered, but the Sporting Village has come back to the forefront as the most suitable location.

“This time, more thought has been given to the impact; the building is a reduced scale, patient numbers will be lower, and there will be a dedicated minibus to reduce traffic flow to the Sporting Village.

“This application seeks temporary planning approval of 3 years, which is a worst case scenario and it is expected that a solution will be found before this time.”

According to the statement, 2,672 people are currently on Knight Surgery’s patient list.

However, there could be an increase of 1,066 patients by 2033 due to a 840-home development nearby, which is part of the west Basildon urban regeneration scheme.

Additionally, 168 more patients are expected by 2022.

A later section reads: “This is however, a temporary relocation of the existing surgery and they are already working alongside the Council to establish a long term strategy to accommodate growth for both the surgery as well as other practices in the area.”

Patients are currently being seen at Fryerns Medical Centre.

However, the statement says this cannot be maintained, even on a temporary basis, and a portacabin would offer a bespoke building for patients.

The proposed building will contain consultation and treatment rooms, office space, staff and patient amenities and a reception area.

Six staff are expected to attend the site, according to the statement.

The planning application was received and validated by the council on December 6 and will expire on December 28.

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Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter