GP surgery plan setback as Morrisons ‘wants housing’

Enterprise Hub in Wick. Picture: Steve Robards
Enterprise Hub in Wick. Picture: Steve Robards

The plans for a much-needed new GP surgery in Wick have taken a setback after a councillor said that Morrisons would rather see housing built on its land.

But health bosses have said they remain committed to building the new practice.

As far as I’m concerned it has put the clock back three years

James Walsh

Senior members of Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group said they expected to get a final plan for the surgery early in the New Year, pending discussions between Morrisons and Arun District Council.

But according to councillor and former GP James Walsh, Morrisons has said in these discussions that it would prefer housing to be built on the site in Hawthorn Road, Wick.

He said: “As far as I’m concerned it has put the clock back three years.

“It has revealed that the clinical commissioning group has no plan B; it has always relied on this without a cast-iron guarantee from Morrisons.

“This means the Morrisons site is off the agenda; they have to start at day one looking for another site.”

Dr Walsh said that the information had come from a private briefing with senior planning officers at the council two weeks ago, and was repeated at a meeting of the Littlehampton Steering Group.

Tim Kimber is GP for The Park Surgery and is part of the CCG. He said he had no knowledge of Morrison’s desire to build houses on its land, and added: “The CCG is ready and waiting to hear from Dr Walsh and his colleagues at the council that they have finalised arrangements with Morrisons to allow us to proceed. This situation needs no more political posturing, it needs action.”

This is the latest in a series of setbacks for the planned medical facility.

It was to be the new home for Arun Medical Group’s East Street surgery, but the GPs’ decision to end their contract earlier this year meant that the plans were delayed.

Morrisons have been approached for comment.

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