METAL thieves have stolen scaffolding from a doctor’s surgery development.
The new £2.2m health centre that will serve Wheatley Hill, Thornley and Kelloe was targeted by scrap raiders.
Around 70 13ft scaffolding poles, each worth £700, were taken from the building site, in Thornley Road, Wheatley Hill.
The state-of-the-art facility has been at least 16 years in the making, with some locals never believing it would come off.
But work started in July.
The development team, led by Dr N Mahto and Partners, say the theft will not hold up the project.
Spokeswoman Chloe Taylor said: “How would the thieves feel if it was their mother or father who was ill and they wanted access to the facility?
“The value of the poles will be miniscule compared to the impact it will have on the building. But this won’t delay it.”
She said the build is around 70 per cent complete, with the first floor almost done and contractors facing a race against the elements to get the roof on before winter sets in.
PC Paul Pringle, of Peterlee Police, said: “There’s nothing at this stage to identify those responsible for the theft from this valuable community asset. It’s likely that a vehicle would have been used to transport the scaffolding.”
Any witnesses to the theft, which happened between October 3-6 can call police on 101, quoting reference EE1402772.