A 'SORELY-NEEDED' new doctors' surgery could be scuppered after councillors dismissed the plans as 'unneighbourly.'

With a decision imminent on whether the new healthcare centre is given the go-ahead for Didcot's Great Western Park, Didcot Town Council has made the surprising decision to oppose the scheme.

Despite previously raising concerns about a 'overburdened and crumbling' local healthcare system, councillors have decided they cannot support the plans in their current form due to the 'overbearing' nature of the proposed building.

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Chairman of the planning committee Anthony Dearlove explained: "The town council very much supports the urgently-needed heath centre on GWP, however it was felt that the current design was not quite right.

"The proposed building is very modern and would be overbearing on the neighbouring homes.

"We also felt that the number of parking bays was inadequate and would lead to parking issues on the surrounding streets.

"Didcot Town Council supports this very much, but we would like to see the design changed so the building fits better with in its surroundings and offers a greater amount of parking if possible."

While it will be Vale of White Horse District Council which makes a final decision on the plans, the town council hopes to influence the debate.

Oxford Mail:

Didcot town councillor Mocky Khan pictured at a pro-NHS rally.

The original target decision date for the application by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group was in December, but when asked this week the Vale could not say when the application would be decided.

In the meantime, those who live nearby have also joined the chorus of concern surrounding the proposed three-storey building.

Although supporting the need for a new surgery, Shirley Lee, who lives next door to the site in Greenwood Way, wrote: "The plans for the healthcare centre show a bigger and more imposing building than originally suggested.

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"This may lead to loss of privacy to garden and loss of light.

"As we are direct neighbours we do have a reasonable concern on whether this will have a negative impact on the future value of our property."

Simeon Clark added: "Only 15 [parking] spaces are being made available, which I doubt will be enough to cater for the staff, let alone the patients, so the concern I have is about neighbouring roads being used for parking, creating greater congestion and associated dangers."

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which holds the NHS purse strings for the county, is planning the new practice to serve 20,000 patients in the area and for work to begin within three years.

That will cater for some residents in the thousands of new homes being built around Didcot.

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If the planning application is rejected, it will further delay the already long-overdue new surgery further, with residents currently facing a long journey to see a doctor.

Mocky Khan, whose Labour group on the town council has pushed for more investment in healthcare, said: "I am sure that the planning committee had valid planning reasons for rejecting the plans and will welcome any revisions to the application.

"However, as far as I am concerned, Didcot does need increased healthcare funding and provisions.

"I hope that the objections are overcome and the desperately-needed GP surgery is built in Great Western Park."

OCCG did not respond to requests for comment.