Stow-on-the-Wold GP threat over relocation plan refusal

Stow Surgery, on Well Lane Image copyright Google
Image caption Dr Tim Healy, Stow Surgery: "We're about a third of the size we should be."

A group of doctors in the Cotswolds have warned their surgery could shut after relocation plans were thrown out.

The 5,500 patients of Stow Surgery are now being urged to take action against Cotswold District Council's refusal of the plans to build on Gypsy Field.

Dr Tim Healy said they had reached "the end of the line" after a 14-year search to find a suitable new site.

The authority decision was based on two reasons, including the "negative visual impact" on the local area.

Image caption The Stow Horse Fair has been held on Gypsy Field for more than 530 years

Mr Healy said: "We had this surgery [Well Lane] built in the 1970s, but 15 years ago it became a little too small for us and its been shrinking ever since as the tasks we have to do in primary care have increased.

"We've been trying for 14 years to find the right piece of land for us and we've now done so."

The proposal for Gypsy Field - the venue for the 538-year-old Stow Horse Fair - is to build a health care centre, pharmacy and five residential units, along with parking and landscaping.

However council planners believe this plan would negatively impact "the character or appearance of the locality" as well as harming the surrounding Cotswold Area of Outstand Natural beauty.

Further pressure is on the surgery from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which last November rated the Well Lane surgery as good but said the services required improvement.

As a result Mr Healy believes their inspectors need convincing the facilities will soon be upgraded to avoid "further negotiations about the continuation of the surgery".

"We're about a third of the size we should be. We need brand new premises," he added.

"If the council won't let us build it, but the CQC say we're not good enough here, that's the end of the surgery here."

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