FURIOUS campaigners have vowed to fight the decision to allow a new surgery in Brewood amid fears the public have been misled.
South Stafforshire Council’s regulatory committee gave the go-ahead last week for the new primary care centre to be built on green belt land adjoining a conservation area.
But campaigners from the Kiddemore Green Lane action group are challenging the decision on a point of law, claiming the application was accepted on false information.
The group has since applied for information regarding funding of the project via the Freedom of Information Act. Members fear development agents may have misled planners into believing they must rush the decision as funding would expire.
Chairman Michael Shaw said: “It has since transpired that the PCT funding never existed, let alone that it was a ticking time bomb.” MP Gavin Williamson, who is backing the residents, said: “Under planning rules there should be proper evaluation of all sites - that has not been done in this case and as for the South Staffordshire PCT their behaviour has bordered on disgraceful.
“They have misled residents and members of Parliament; that is not how a public authority should behave.”
“They have not given information when asked for it, which is quite frankly disgraceful I think the chief executive should feel very awkward.”
Residents were already opposing the plans as the development was in the green belt and they believed it would cause excess traffic.
Graham Parker, an agent representing the medical practice, said there was no site they hadn’t yet considered and it was the only suitable one.
Jan Jefferies, chairman of Brewood and Coven parish council, said: “The regulatory committee has agreed - so there is little the parish can do.
“It really is a balancing act, I feel for the people who are upset and affected by the decision but I believe there is also a large number by residents who are in favour of the surgery at Kiddemore Green and we really do need a new surgery.” The existing surgery is no longer fit for purpose and doesn’t comply with current NHS guidelines.
A spokesperson for South Staffordshire Council said: “The revised plans have reduced the height of the building by around 2.5 metres and extra car parking spaces added.
“Taking these and all other material considerations into account, the committee felt that on balance the benefits of this particular development outweighed the potential harm to the green belt.”
A spokesperson for South Staffordshire PCT said it was unable to comment this week.