Homes for 1,800 people planned – but no more NHS docs or dentists

By Jon Walker   |   Senior reporter   |
Wednesday 1st June 2022 4:00 pm
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Council chiefs have called on the NHS to make more noise in the planning process (n/a )

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HOMES for about 1,800 people across East Hampshire is the annual target set by the government – but no more NHS surgeries and dentists are included in that ambitious guideline.

Now the district council says it wants to meet senior NHS representatives – and it has also called into doubt the NHS’ knowledge of the planning system.

One senior officer says the health service should be “put on the spot”.

As more people move into the district, thanks to government-imposed house-building targets, they are finding it hard, if not impossible, to see doctors and dentists.

Council leader Richard Millard said: “We have planners who are very concerned about this area of provision. If we refuse future planning applications on this, the developers could appeal – and probably win. The government system is broken.”

Council chief executive Gill Kneller said: “I have to ask if the NHS understands the planning system.”

The council’s director of regeneration and Place Simon Jenkins added: “It is expected that homes for about 1,800 people are built here each year, and if someone said ‘you can’t build another house until a dentists is built’ the council would be in trouble.”

All planning applications go to statutory bodies such as the NHS for comment.

In the case of the NHS, it is asked if it thinks doctors and dentists can cope with the continuing influx.

Liphook is still waiting for a new surgery, and a health hub is ‘planned’ for Bordon – but no more NHS dental or medical provision is proposed in East Hampshire.

Ms Kneller added: “It is a national issue as well – NHS dentists have to take private patients to make it pay. If the renumeration from the NHS isn’t enough, any new NHS dentists will end up private anyway.”

Now in a determined bid to understand why it is thought more house can built without any new facilities, the council says it would like to meet senior NHS representatives.

Cllr Millard said: “The council has to be a catalyst for change.

“If I can get better health provision in East Hampshire I will.”

Mr Jenkins added the council “can ask the questions” and put statutory bodies such as the NHS “on the spot”.

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