ANGRY protesters took to Pershore’s streets calling on NHS chiefs to put patients before profit and stop the sale of the Cottage Hospital site to a retirement home developer.
Campaigners gathered on Saturday (October 9), angry at plans to redevelop the former hospital site and turn it into a retirement complex with 24 apartments, preventing staff and patients from parking there as they have done for the past 10 years.
The group claim the decision will stop Abbottswood Medical Centre getting the extra land they need to expand their car park, with fears it could cause traffic problems on Defford Road and Nogains.
The surgery was hoping to get the green light from planning chiefs yesterday (Thursday) to build four new consultation rooms and increase the number of parking spaces from 36 to 52
But protesters warned the car park will not be big enough.
Coun Charles Tucker, who represents Pershore on Wychavon District Council, said: ““This is a last ditch attempt to get the National Health Service to change its mind about the way in which it disposes of the Cottage Hospital site and we’re asking them to put the health needs of Pershore before the profits from the site.
“That’s the nub of the argument because they seem to be just acting like a greedy property developer, just selling the site for the maximum amount of money they can make, without taking account of what is actually needed for the future of Pershore or the doctors practice.”
The potential re-develop will prevent the surgery from expanding any further in the future with concerns that it won’t be able to cope as the town’s population increases and new houses are built.
Coun Val Wood, who also represents Pershore, raised concerns about the parking situation: “There’s got to be a traffic survey. I took a friend round the other week and had to park in the street. There was an ambulance there, the midwives can’t park, the staff can’t park and the staff have been told that they can’t park on the new car park.
“Local residents have been contacted to ask if they could provide parking spaces on their drives for staff that are coming and going, like nurses with equipment during the day.”
However, one resident Peter Corbishley said the plans need to get the go ahead:
“I think they’ve got it terribly, terribly wrong this has been an eyesore for 10 years.
“Abbottswood next door have had 10 years to do something. If that is not sold off soon it will go on for ever and ever and these poor people over here having to look over there.
“Has far as the car parking spaces is concerned five minutes walk away I’m thinking not so much of the patients here, more of the staff, there is a half unused car park belonged to Wychavon just by the Abbey.”