Controversial Belmont medical centre decision deferred after bad-tempered Sutton Council meeting
A decision on whether to allow a "mini hospital" to be built in Belmont has been deferred after a heated meeting last night.
More than 100 members of the public packed out a meeting room and the corridor outside as Sutton councillors met to discuss plans to build a brand new medical centre on the site of the old Henderson Hospital in Homelands Drive.
The campaigners, who all wore yellow stickers, told councillors on the development control committee the plans were not appropriate for the area, the hospital would not be well-enough served by public transport could harm businesses in Belmont.
But applicant Assura group, which wants to build the new facility as a new home for both the Grove Road and Benhill and Belmont GP practices, said its plans will be beneficial to patients.
Discussion and debate on the application was repeatedly interrupted by heckles from the audience and ended up going on past the 10.45pm cut off point for a decision to be made meaning the application has been deferred to a meeting in January.
The application site
The application is to build the medical centre as well as a group of nine houses. Representatives from Assura told the meeting the two GP surgeries that would be housed in the development have been searching for new premises for 10 years as their existing buildings are old and becoming unfit for purpose.
But opponents of the plans told the meeting they would prefer the scheme goes on the Sutton Hospital site instead due to its better public transport links.
Councillor Peter Geiringer said the area around the site would be affected by traffic because it is 350m from the nearest bus stop. He added: "Belmont Heights is a quiet residential enclave not a car park for a medical centre that is inaccessible by public transport. The traffic will be a tsunami if this gets the go ahead."
Sutton Council's policy is not to make decisions after 10.45pm and when the meeting reached this point it was resolved that the decision be deferred to the next meeting on January 8.
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