PLANS to expand a Hampshire market town's doctors' surgery have been met with floods of support.

A total of 28 people had submitted supporting comments, by June 13, for the two Portakabin buildings at The Surgery in Lower Lane, Bishop's Waltham. 

The application, by Morag Kirby of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, includes four clinical rooms with a small waiting area between. The buildings are proposed to be on site for a period of 260 weeks, which is just under five years. 

The scheme was partly funded by Winchester City Council with £217,000 from the community infrastructure levy. 

Cllr Jonathan Williams, who represents the Bishop's Waltham ward, said: “For context of the current demand, the existing surgery building was designed on old NHS standards to accommodate 7,000 patients to which the surgery now has double that number on its current list of patients.

"New NHS standards mean that the room sizes in the existing building need to be doubled meaning to meet the current demand, the surgery effectively needs to quadruple in size just to meet current demand. 

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(Image: WCC)

“The nature of the cabins being a temporary fixture, this will allow for additional appointments while a long term solution is sought in finding a new, larger, premises for the GP surgery.”

Julie Barron, of Claylands Road, said: “These additional clinical rooms are vitally important to ensure the local community is able to get an appointment when they need it. We currently struggle due to the increase in housing developments putting increased pressure on our surgery and having these additional amenities will help us all in the area immensely.”

Lucy Newton-White, of Cunningham Avenue, said: “The doctors surgery is in desperate need of expansion. They have far too many patients and can't currently see them due to a shortage of rooms. The expansion into the car park will provide a positive impact on appointment waiting times and access to vital medical care.

“After all they are only temporary structures and can be removed without any damage to the existing footprint.”

The application's planning statement said that the extension is needed in order to accommodate the increase in patient population brought about by new residential developments in the catchment area.

It added: “The Portakabin buildings have been chosen as a result of the flexible solution it provides. The buildings can be installed quickly enabling Bishop's Waltham Surgery to begin using the specifically fitted out building much more quickly than a traditional build, and it can easily be removed from site with little impact.”

For more details about the planning application online, search 24/00833/FUL on Winchester City Council's planning portal.