Leicester

Row over Victoria Park health centre site

A proposed new Leicester health centre will rob the city of a valuable green space, some residents have claimed.

Developers want to build the centre on Victoria Park to replace the Freemen's Common Health Centre.

But campaigners said the privately-funded facility would make the area less attractive to live in and would ruin its ecology.

Assura, which is working with NHS Leicester, said the centre was badly needed and this was the best location.

Alternative location

The firm, which specialises in building primary care facilities in partnership with the NHS, said a replacement for Freemen's Common had been sought for more than 10 years.

It added the two-storey building would have a low visual profile, use land which was currently a disused air raid shelter and make special provision for wildlife, especially bats.

But local resident Mo Taylor believed it would still have a serious impact on the area.

"The majority of people don't want it built there. They can understand the need for a health centre but why build it on green space?

"It is very nice to have these green spaces, they are very important when you live in the city because you need to escape to some peace," she said.

Local councillor Patrick Kitterick said he thought there was "a much better solution" of building on a car park behind the Freeman's Common Health Centre.

The application goes before the city council's planning committee in October.

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