37 Park Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0AU
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Richmond Council is currently consulting on the draft Local Plan, and this includes Site Allocations which set out planning policy for significant sites in the Borough which may become vacant, and what the Council would expect from any resulting redevelopment. The most pressing one for us and our patients is the Teddington Police Station, which is being marketed for sale as of 27th January 2022, with offers due by 10th February.
The partners at Park Road have submitted a response as below, and would urge our patients to respond formally and support the community need for the site to accommodate us.
We are responding as the partners at Park Road Surgery in Teddington, specifically to Site Allocation 9 (Teddington Police Station).
We are an NHS GP surgery which looks after just over 13,000 patients across a catchment area which includes the Teddington ward and part or all of the five neighbouring wards of Fulwell & Hampton Hill, Hampton, Hampton Wick, South Twickenham, and West Twickenham. Our existing premises is a converted Victorian house which should let us look after about 3,400 patients, meaning we are accommodating about 10,000 more patients than the building should; this is the highest number of excess patients for any surgery in the borough, and our urgent need to move premises is recognised in that we are top priority in the Richmond CCG Estates Strategy.
We would therefore ask that Site Allocation 9 specifies that this medical need must be met as part of any redevelopment of the Police Station, in line with the existing text which says that “proposed redevelopment of the site will only be acceptable if a community/social infrastructure use is reprovided on site at ground floor level, such as for a medical/health use.”
While this wording is welcome, in other parts of Richmond sites have been redeveloped ostensibly to provide medical facilities without the necessary agreements from the surgeries themselves or the CCG – for instance, the 2014 permission on the old Dairy Crest site on Orchard road in Kew included a 1,090m2 “GP surgery” which was still empty, and being marketed as retail space, 5 years later. The Teddington Police Station is too important a site for this to happen, and any planning consent should specify that the need outlined in the Local Plan and the CCG Estates Strategy is met, and make sale or lease of any residential units conditional on the occupation of the GP space.
We also call for the site allocation to be more specific about the need for a co-located health and social care facility, combining our need with space for local charities and a shared community space for health and wellbeing.
This matters because the Teddington Police Station is a large community asset in the centre of Teddington, and because ongoing residential development without corresponding healthcare development increases the pressures GP surgeries are under, and worsen the service available to patients. Park Road Surgery’s existing building is operating at capacity all the time, with nowhere physically to put more staff to answer the phones or to see patients, nor to cope with spikes in demand like winter pressures. Physical access is terrible, particularly for those with buggies, or mobility difficulties, and half the consulting rooms are on the first floor.
The increased pressure on appointments makes it harder to offer continuity of care, and longer waits have knock-on effects on walk-in and A&E services. We work hard to mitigate these factors, but we are at the limit of what we’re able to do where we are.
We have been in discussions with the CCG and NHS England over new premises since 2010, having looked at numerous sites over that time. Securing a new surgery on this site would:
• significantly improve local residents’ access to healthcare
• support national policy, in particular the aims set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan to move care out of hospital and into the community
• support the Teddington Village Plan
• improve disabled access
• support the strategic aim for social and community infrastructure and “flexible spaces[…]as part of multi-purpose assets” (“Securing new social and community infrastructure”, draft Local Plan)
We wholeheartedly support the proposals in the draft Site Allocations, but would ask that they are strengthened as above to ensure the site continues to be an asset for Teddington in years to come.