Passionate plea to health professionals for new Hopton GP surgery

The Hopton Surgery
The Hopton Surgery

Residents in Hopton have put out a passionate plea to health professionals to make use of their new GP surgery, which got the go-ahead from planners last week.

Vice-chairman of Hopton Parish Council Mark Filler says the village is ‘open for business’ after St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee gave a thumbs up to a new surgery and an extension of the village hall.

The plans also included 37 new houses, including 11 affordable homes.

Mr Filler said: “As a community we are disappointed we weren’t able to keep our existing surgery but we are still looking to see how we might secure some sort of medical provision.

“The surgery had covered nine villages and something like 1,500 patients used it. That is a sizable proportion of people around here so it may make it worth their while.

“We are interested in hearing from any other practices or facilities that may be interested in operating from Hopton.

“We are open for business to anybody that would like to come and talk to us.”

He added the village would also consider a pharmacy moving in too.

“We don’t necessarily expect a practice to replicate what we had before,” he said.

“We are entirely flexible in our outlook.”

The plea comes after a long-running battle to save the village’s GP surgery.

In April it was announced the Hopton surgery was closing and that services would be moved to Stanton.

But after a push from the village’s residents, the planning application for the new surgery was passed on Thursday, August 4.

Mr Filler urged anyone interested to get in touch with Hopton Parish Council.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Development Control Committee met last week to discuss the plans, which had been recommended for approval, that include the building of a doctors surgery and associated car parking in the village.

But the report says talks are still underway to fill the surgery. It reads: “Discussions are ongoing between the GPs, NHS England and the Village Trust on the potential move of the surgery.

“In the event that the GP surgery does not move to this site, it is the view of officers that the current playing field would remain in its present form and as such this would not act as an impediment to the rest of the proposed development coming forward.”

The application also proposed extending of the village hall to provide a new room, toilets and a larger car park.

The 37 homes would consist of four two-bed and eight three-bed bungalows, 11 four bed houses and three five-bed houses. Affordable homes would also be built – two one-bed apartments, five two-bed houses and four three-bed houses.