Death knell for health mall

PLANS to build a £6 million state-of-the-art ‘health mall’ in Wisbech have been shelved.

For several years, the plan has been to construct a new shopping mall-style health centre off Cromwell Road as part of the Construct Reason development.

However, now the developer has applied to Fenland Council’s planning committee to vary its Section 106 agreement after NHS Cambridgeshire pulled out of the development, blaming the current economic climate for their change of heart.

The health centre was going to be the new home of North Brink Practice and was also going to feature a pharmacy, creche, coffee shop and alternative healthcare.

Construct Reason has requested that the obligation to provide the health centre be removed from the original planning agreement and replaced with a contribution of £260,000 for the health and wellbeing of Wisbech.

Planning officers are recommending that the variation be approved and advised that the contribution be paid to the council prior to the occupation of 61 of the open market dwellings.

Construct Reason have also submitted a new planning application to build 26 houses on the 0.857 hectares site that was designated for the health centre, adjacent to Abraham Drive.

The dwellings would consist of three three-bed houses and eight two-bed houses with attached garages, two three-bed houses and 12 two-bed houses with detached garages and one two-bed house with an attached garage and carport.

As part of the Section 106 agreement, an education contribution of £10,950 – £4,200 for pre-school education and £6,750 for primary school education – is being sought, to be paid prior to the occupation of 50 per cent of the dwellings.

Planning officers are recommending that the plans be approved when they come before the committee at Fenland Hall today (Wednesday).