PLANS to build a new Marston Green Medical Centre on greenbelt land are being recommended for approval by council officers.
A council officer’s report to Solihull’s planning committee recommends the application, while accepting it will represent inappropriate development within greenbelt.
It claims the ‘very special circumstances’ required to satisfy national and local green belt policies exist in this case.
The report which will be presented to the committee tomorrow (Wednesday) states the current Doctors surgery
provision in Marston Green ‘is not fit for the purpose to deliver appropriate patient care and support to meet the medical needs of the Village.’
Plans involve the demolition of Oliver House on Ivy Lodge Close and the construction of a new medical building with a pharmacy, cafe, children’s nursery, gymnasium and car parking.
Planning documents reveal there will be a podiatry service, optician, MRI, ultrasound and x-ray facilities onsite with space for
a mobile vehicle scanning and medical imaging unit in the car park.
The officer’s report states: “The compelling and demonstrable need for a medical centre combined with economic benefits amount to material considerations which are of sufficient weight to clearly outweigh any conflicts with national planning policies, the development plan and any other matters. Very specials circumstances have therefore been demonstrated.”
The report also states more than 14 jobs would be created, including two additional GPs.
The ‘very special circumstances’ exemption which permits building on greenbelt appears in the government’s National Planning Policy Framework, which otherwise aims to prevent urban sprawl and the unnecessary loss of open greenbelt land.
The applicant, Marston Medical Ltd, argued in the planning application that the ‘ very special circumstances’ include ensuring adequate provision of services and facilities both now and in the future for the residents against the backdrop of continued housing growth in the area and the associated additional demands that will arise.
A total of five objections were handed to the council and two people registered their support.