PEOPLE in Devizes can at last be able to looking forward with confidence to the town having a new health centre after years of delay.

Andrew Strange, regional partnership director for NHS Property Services, said this week that he is now confident that the £10 million project for land at Marshall Road will start next year and be finished by the summer of 2022.

A detailed planning application on the building’s look and layout has now been submitted to Wiltshire Council.

Mr Strange said: “This is a really interesting forward-looking scheme that we’ve developed collaboratively with our NHS partners to enable better patient care.

“The submission of this reserve matters application marks a significant milestone towards the delivery of this state-of-the-art health centre that will help meet the objectives in the NHS’ long term plan.”

It was welcomed by Market Lavington GP Richard Sandford-Hill, who is on the project board. He said, “GPs and primary care colleagues across the Devizes and surrounding area can’t wait to have this additional space to provide enhanced services and have additional healthcare staff available for the day-to-day care of our patients.

“It will be fantastic to be able to treat patients in a modern, purpose built facility with access to all the resources and equipment that is being included in this project.”

The new building, which used to be described by health bosses as an urgent health care centre but has in recent months changed its name to an integrated health care centre, will still take over services such as physiotherapy and out patient appointments from the existing Devizes Hospital.

Once the centre is complete the old hospital in Commercial Road will be sold off, probably for housing. Outline planning permission has also been given for 50 houses at Marshall Road.