A DOCTORS’ surgery will be expanded and refurbished as part of the Barton Park development.

Barton Surgery, in Underhill Circus, will undergo its own development to ensure it can cope when the number of people on its register more than doubles as the new estate west of Barton develops.

Developer Barton LLP, a partnership between Oxford City Council and Grosvenor, said that £200,000 would be set aside for the “refurbishment and improvement” of the surgery.

The refurbishment will involve the current surgery being expanded into an empty part of the Barton Neighbourhood Centre.

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Work is expected to begin early in 2017.

Neighbourhood Centre secretary Sue Holden said she was pleased the surgery was expanding to cope with the influx of more residents and that it was staying in the centre.

She said: “The thinking by the Barton Community Association was to keep the service at the centre.

“We fought long and hard to ensure services, such as the doctors’ surgery and the police office, stay at the centre so that we don’t become a ghost town when the new development is completed.

“It’s another way to try and encourage integration between the old and new estates.”

Currently, the surgery cares for about 1,300 patients, but is expected to have to look after more than 3,000 once the development is finished.

Its business manager, Stuart MacFarlane, said meetings had started between surgery representatives and Grosvenor to discuss plans.

He said: “There is space immediately adjacent to the space we occupy and we expect to expand into that. That would create sufficient space for us to care for the influx of residents as a result of the new development. We are confident at this stage that it will work.”

Mr MacFarlane added that it was hoped to have three more consultation rooms, bringing the surgery total to six. Currently, three GPs work at the surgery but it is not known yet how many more would be taken on.

New toilets would be installed at the surgery, which is a branch of Headington’s Bury Knowle Health Centre, to avoid patients having to use existing facilities on the other side of the centre.

Mandy Ayres, who is a patient at the surgery, said: “I think it is a good idea because this doctors’ is really important to the estate and the new estate being built. I hope it will bring both the new and old communities together.”

Oxford City Council spokesman Chofamba Sithole said: “We’ve drawn up preliminary plans for the surgery.

“Under the planning consent granted for Barton Park there is a provision for £200,000 under a Section 106 Agreement for the provision of health facilities, however, we will only know the final costs after the full scope of the work has been agreed.”