Work begins on Woolpit community car park
Mid Suffolk councillors were joined by NHS representatives today to mark the start of construction on a much-needed car park serving Woolpit Health Centre and the local community.
The project has been made possible following the transfer of land earlier this year to Mid Suffolk District Council from David Wilson Homes, who are currently building new homes in the village.
Since permission was granted for this development, the council has worked closely with Suffolk County Council, Woolpit Health Centre, the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and Woolpit Parish Council to ensure that the transferred land best meets the needs of the community for years to come.
It will initially be used as an additional car park for Woolpit Health Centre, enabling the surgery to meet demand from housing growth in the area and continue to serve patients from almost 30 surrounding towns and villages. The 120 new parking spaces created by the land will also be invaluable in the ongoing Covid-19 and flu vaccination effort, accommodating potential extra demand if booster jabs are required in the winter and beyond.
Further community uses for the car park are currently being explored with Woolpit Parish Council, who have lent their support to proposals and joined today’s ground breaking ceremony.
Mid Suffolk District Council leader Cllr Suzie Morley was also in attendance, as were other district and county councillors, Woolpit GP Dr Ben McCann and representatives from David Wilson Homes and Breheny Civil Engineering.
Cllr Harry Richardson, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, commented: “It’s wonderful news that work has begun on this exciting collaborative project, which is set to make a real difference to Woolpit and the wider community by delivering the facilities needed to meet local demand for health care.
“I’d like to thank all those involved to date, including the CCG, Suffolk County Council and Woolpit Parish Council, as we continue to work together to achieve our ambition for all Mid Suffolk residents to lead active and healthy lives, whilst managing their own health and wellbeing.”
Dr Ed Garratt, Chief Executive of West Suffolk CCG, said: “We believe the construction of this new car park will really increase ease of access for many people to the health centre. We know the local communities really value this health centre facility and the CCG is pleased to have been involved in supporting the development of plans. We look forward to continuing our work with partners.”
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care commented: “Great news to see increased parking facilities at Woolpit Surgery, much needed to enhance the experience of our growing population when accessing healthcare. Well done to everyone involved.”
Construction of the new facility, including significant drainage and resurfacing works, is due to be completed in November. This will not impact upon the health centre’s existing car park, which can still be accessed during works. All construction vehicles will also use the David Wilson Homes site to access the land – ensuring minimal disruption to the community.
Funding for the car park will be provided from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – paid by housing developers to provide facilities needed to meet growth – following approval from Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet in June.
The project has been awarded to Breheny Civil Engineering, based and operating in Suffolk for over 50 years, after a rigorous tender process by the council earlier this summer.