Plans for a new £5.4m health centre development in Coleford have moved a big step forward thanks to confirmation that planning permission for the scheme has been granted.

The news means that building work to create a brand new, modern and flexible health centre can now progress.

The new premises will become home to two GP surgeries, Brunston and Lydbrook Practice and Coleford Family Doctors, which are currently operating from outdated buildings that are no longer suitable for the provision of modern healthcare.

With the local population continuing to increase, new premises are needed to enable the practices to meet their patients’ growing demands and improve their services and facilities.

The two surgeries also plan to merge into one practice when they move, allowing them to share resources, become more resilient and work more flexibly and efficiently. This will bring benefits to both patients and staff, such as a greater range of services and extended opening times, in a safer, more comfortable environment.

The innovative building design by health specialist property company Osmond Tricks will assist the practices with their plans to merge, thanks to more than 20 new clinical rooms and a minor procedures suite.

These additional consulting and treatment rooms will allow the practices to expand their services and provide different kinds of support, for example, from nurses and pharmacists. The extra space will also enable more doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to receive training.

The centre will be built on the edge of Coleford in an area known as The Gorse, adjacent to both the Coombs nursing home and the Great Oaks Hospice.

Located on several bus routes, the site is in an ideal location for the largely rural Forest of Dean community, offering the best possible access for patients with around 60 parking spaces and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

The building will be energy efficient achieving a BREEAM Excellent environmental standard.

Dr Sebastian Nicholls, GP Partner at Brunston and Lydbrook Practice, said:

“We are very excited that our plans for primary care in Coleford are moving forward. Moving from three inadequate and outdated buildings into one new, attractive and efficient surgery building will make a huge difference to how well we are able to provide services in the future.

The team from Osmond Tricks are managing this development in a thoroughly professional and efficient way and are leading us patiently through all the stages of this complex project.

We absolutely can’t wait to move in.”

Dr Elizabeth Williams, GP Partner at Coleford Family Doctors, said:

“We are delighted that our plans to bring much needed, modern and spacious healthcare facilities to Coleford can become a reality.

Having the right space in such an accessible location will give us the base we need to continue to provide the high quality services that the people of Coleford deserve.”

Director of Primary Care and Place at NHS Gloucestershire, Helen Goodey, said:

“NHS Gloucestershire endorsed the proposals back in September 2020 and we are really pleased that this development is finally moving forward.

The people of Coleford will really benefit from a modern, spacious and environmentally friendly new health centre, with good access for people with disabilities and better facilities for children and families.”

Building work is expected to start in summer 2023.