LONG-AWAITED plans for a new £2m medical centre look set to come to fruition as developers prepare to give residents their say on the proposals.
Residents of Wheatley Hill have been campaigning for 15 years for a new health facility in the village and now developers are preparing to reveal their designs to the public.
A consultation event on the state-of-the-art scheme will be held from 5pm-7pm on Thursday, March 22, at Wheatley Hill Surgery, in the village’s Thornley Road.
The new 950 sq-ft two-storey development, with associated car park, would cover the village as well as Thornley and Kelloe and would include specialist clinics for minor surgery, leg ulcers and diabetes.
It would be led by five GPs, from the existing Wheatley Hill, Thornley and Kelloe surgeries, and there would also be treatment rooms, a retail unit, a base for NHS County Durham and Darlington, consultation areas and office accommodation.
The news has been welcomed by Thornley’s representative on Durham County Council, Councillor Morris Nicholls, who has been a key figure in bringing the plans together.
He said: “This is something I have been fighting for for some time.
“There have been lots of people working towards this – lots of people thought it was never going to happen.
“It will bring much-needed healthcare to the people who need help.
“It is badly needed, rather than people having to go elsewhere, to places like Peterlee.”
The proposals would see the existing Wheatley Hill surgery demolished on completion of the new site.
Coun Morris said the developers would be looking to submit a planning application to Durham County Council within the next month.
Anyone unable to get to the consultation event will be able to complete a questionnaire and return it to Wheatley Hill Surgery.