A new £9m health centre development in Cheltenham has moved a big step forward this week with confirmation that planning permission has been granted for the scheme.

The news means that building work can now progress to relocate three town centre practices – Berkeley Place, Crescent Bakery and Royal Crescent – to a brand new purpose-built centre on Prestbury Road.

The new centre could be operational by 2021, with the three practices providing GP services to around 25,000 patients.

The practices have outgrown their current premises, and with the population of Cheltenham continuing to increase, the practices and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group identified the need to move to more modern premises that are fit for purpose.

The new premises will transform GP services in this part of Cheltenham.

The extra space will be used for additional consulting and treatment rooms which will enable the practices to meet growing demands and offer a broader range of services to patients, for example, through support from nurses, paramedics and pharmacists. They will be able to share resources and work more flexibly, offering extended opening times to patients.

It will also enable significantly more doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to receive training, whilst the improved reception and waiting areas will be more comfortable for patients and staff alike.

Dr Phil Kurlbaum, on behalf of the three surgeries involved, said:

“We are delighted that that this new health centre for Cheltenham can become a reality, and look forward to moving forward with our plans to bring much needed, modern and spacious premises to the area. This will really help us to meet the ever-increasing health and care needs of our patients and ensure that we can continue to provide high quality services for years to come.”

Director of Primary Care at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Helen Goodey said:

“The Primary Care Commissioning Committee of NHS Gloucestershire CCG approved the business case in March, and we are really pleased that this development is moving forward.

The new health centre will be modern, spacious and environmentally friendly, and will enable doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to offer a broader range of services to patients.”

This development is part of wider plans to improve GP premises across the county.