Plans submitted for new medical practice in Daventry village

The proposed medical centre
The proposed medical centre

A Daventry village medical practice has submitted plans for a new centre which include 90 new homes.

Byfield Medical Practice hopes to develop the 10.5acre site, adjacent to the existing out-of-date medical centre off Church Street.

The proposed site for development is adjacent to the out-of-date surgery (circled).

The proposed site for development is adjacent to the out-of-date surgery (circled).

The Byfield Surgery - as it was known when constructed 36 years ago - served some 4,500 patients. But now, the medical practice has around 9,000 patients drawn from some 41 villages and hamlets over 150 square miles across Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire.

“Our doctors have decided that we will now have to apply to close our lists to new patients, as we are beyond saturation point," said practice manager Tracey Rymer.

"Moreover, due to cramped working conditions, we are unlikely to be able to recruit suitable new staff.”

The medical centre is the largest employer in Byfield, but the facilities are inadequate due to lack of space.

The new proposed centre would be able to offer further employment and provide both existing and new patients with up-to-date medical facilities.

Doctor Adam Bone, senior partner, said: “General practice is going through a tough time at the moment and in order to survive we need to offer the best environment to both patients and the staff we hope to bring to work in Byfield; this means a new state-of-the-art medical centre that allows a full range of medical and allied professions to work together under one roof.

"As for myself, I have spent the last four years trying to get this project together so that when I leave Byfield Medical Centre it is in the best possible state to keep looking after its growing patient list.

"If this does not come off I fear that staff will drift away to villages and towns with better working conditions and the service that is generally applauded locally will disappear forever.”

The proposal's design and access statement details a survey of the village residents which revealed overwhelmingly that they would be prepared to support a planning application for a new residential development on this scale if it was able to deliver a new medical centre.

The results of the survey were: 331 responses received, 304 for and 27 against. Additionally, a village consultation event was held at Byfield Village hall which also showed significant support for the proposals.

The construction of a new medical centre is dependent on funds being provided from the proceeds of the residential development, which means the new housing is a vital element to the scheme.

To assist in this process, the landowner has undertaken to gift approximately 0.4112 hectares of land and additionally make a financial contribution of £1.25m towards the construction of the medical centre.

No funds for the new medical centre will be forthcoming from NHS or public funds. The NHS policy is to create “Super Practices” in towns and cities, rather than in rural areas.

Dr Bone has been with the practice for 20 years and announced his retirement recently.