Hopes grow over health centre campaign in Llanbradach
Hopes have been raised on a new medical centre for Llanbradach following a series of meetings between local councillors and health board officials.
Plaid Cymru county borough councillors Colin Mann and Robert Gough, together with Councillor Carol Hopkins, chair of the Llanbradach Partnership, have held a series of meetings with representatives of the Aneurin Bevan Health Board and other partners.
Residents want the old Saints’ church site in Llanbradach developed for the medical centre. Campaigners say it is an ideal location on the main road through the village with bus stops outside, and a chemist a short walk away.
Cllr Colin Mann said: “We are quietly optimistic that things are pointing in the right direction. Llanbradach has been established as a priority project with the Aneurin Bevan Health Board but issues of funding still need to be resolved.”
Councillor Mann also praised the support of villagers for the project.
Cllr Gough added: “There are no guarantees at this stage and, even if we reach a successful conclusion, there is a very long process to be followed, including agreement by the Welsh Government. We will, however, do everything we possibly can to reach a successful conclusion.”
If the medical centre is built it would house two GP practices catering for between 5,000 and 6,000 patients.
The stumbling block for the new medical centre seems to around money. In December 2011, Caerphilly Observer reported that the Church of Wales, which owns the site, had put in a planning application for a housing development.
At the time, a spokeswoman for the Church in Wales said the organisation had a duty to maximise the value of the land, hence the planning application.
She said: “We have had to submit an application so we can sell the property at the amount we can.
“We are obligated under charity law to get the best value for money. We are still in talks with the health board.”
The spokeswoman added that if the planning application is approved, the property would go on the open market and that all offers would be considered.
She added: “Nothing has been ruled out by this [application]. It’s an extra step so that we are able to sell it and get the full value.”
The planning application has yet to be decided on by Caerphilly County Borough Council.Follow @CaerphillyObsvr