A GP surgery in Woodley would be put under ‘significant’ pressure if plans to build a new care home are approved, the NHS has warned.

Wokingham Borough Council planning officers are recommending that councillors allow a 68 bedroom care home to be built on Woodley Green.

But the NHS body responsible for providing services across the borough has said there are not enough consulting rooms in Woodley to deal with the new residents. And it said Loddon Vale GP practice in particular is under pressure from other nearby planning applications.

In a statement to council planning officers, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board said there would be ‘significant’ capacity issues across Loddon Vale and Woodley Centre GP surgeries if the plans are approved.

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It said this is because there would be ‘insufficient consulting rooms to cope with increased population growth as a direct result of the increase in dwellings.’

It added: “This application directly impacts on the ability of the Loddon Vale surgery in particular to provide primary care services to the increasing population.”

The care board asked Wokingham Borough Council to secure £58,752 from developers towards new infrastructure to support patient services if planning permission is granted.

But council planning officers have said they need more evidence and information from the NHS before they can make this a condition of planning approval.

Planning officers accepted that approving the care home would ‘result in increased pressure on this community health facility.’ They agreed that a financial contribution could help alleviate the pressure.

But officers also said planning law means demands for financial contributions have to be directly related to the scale of the development.

They said the NHS had not provided evidence that the care home would take the local GP surgery over capacity, nor details of the infrastructure the contribution would pay for.

Reading Chronicle: An artist's impression of the proposed care home on Woodley GreenAn artist's impression of the proposed care home on Woodley Green (Image: RM Design Group)

Planning officers said: “At this time officers do not consider the financial contribution would meet the above tests as there is not convincing and clear evidence before them to confirm that a contribution would be necessary to make this development acceptable.”

The NHS integrated care board said Loddon Vale GP practice serves a population of 14,744, and Woodley Centre GP serves 13,766 people. However it didn’t include details of each surgery’s capacity.

It predicted that the care home would increase the population by 163 people. This is based on a formula where the proposed number of homes is multiplied by 2.4.

Previous plans to build a care home on Woodley Green, on the site of the former Travis Perkins depot, were refused in November last year. Council planning officers said the plans would overlook neighbours’ homes creating a ‘harmful sense of enclosure.’

The developers Propco Woodley Green amended the design and officers now recommend that councillors on the planning committee approve the application on Wednesday, April 10.