A statement released on Friday by the Southborough doctors’ surgery indicates that the practice has once more changed its mind. Instead of moving to the Yew Tree Road Car Park the surgery will now move to nearby Pinewood Court at the end of August.
(UPDATE: The doctors’ move to Pinewood Court went ahead and they are now there. UPDATE SEPT 30: The doctors now plan to move back to their old site before the end of the year after repairs to the roof and floor are completed.)
It is thought that arrangements to construct temporary modular buildings and associated utilities could not be completed in time for a direct move to the car park. It is also believed the planning authorities had concerns.
This is the latest statement from the St. Andrew’s medical practice:
“We can now confirm that we will be leaving our current premises after the close of evening surgery on Friday 26th August 2016.
“It has been necessary to secure an interim site at Town and Country’s Pinewood Court from 30th August 2016. This interim move allows us to continue our medical services in Southborough whilst we seek to secure the permissions required for the new temporary surgery to be built at Yew Tree car park.
“Our address from August 30th will be: Pinewood Court, Pinewood Gardens, Southborough, Kent. TN4 0NP
“We apologise to all our patients for the inconvenience caused and are very grateful for all the support received in helping to ensure that St. Andrew’s continues to remain in Southborough.”
Also on Friday, Southborough News obtained the full statement from the former Southborough doctors who own the existing site, which they issued to the Courier on June 30th, 2016.
It remains unclear why the site’s owners and the current doctors were unable to reach a compromise deal to allow the practice to continue operating in their current premises.
Dr Paul Bowden, a co-owner of the building and who was responsible for the building of the surgery in 1987, said: “We started negotiations for a new lease to the St. Andrew’s Partnership in June 2012 and Heads of Terms for a new lease of 15 years were agreed and signed by both parties in March 2013.
“The form of the lease was broadly agreed by January 2015. In March 2015, the partnership served notice that the taking of a lease on the building would not be in their best interests and they offered to purchase the building at well below market value. This was declined by the owners.
“In June 2015, the Partnership tried to re-negotiate the entirety of the arrangement in particular the lease to be for a period of 5 years only. This was also unacceptable to the owners.
“Since June last year little communication has been received from the Partnership or their legal representatives.
“The negotiations having been ongoing for nearly four years and now seemingly stalled the owners were left with no option but to try to bring the matter to a head by serving notice to quit.
“The intention of the notice to quit was to bring the Partnership back to the negotiating table and to proceed with the lease. The option of a lease is still available and welcome to the owners but the Partnership has, once again, failed to communicate.”
The Courier published much of the above statement in this report on June 30th, which also includes comments from Cllr Peter Oakford: