Ramsbottom Health Centre delays are blamed on bats
The development will include a significant remodelling of the Carr Street site, including better disabled access, refurbished clinical rooms and first floor office space.
Councillors had previously set up a petition in an attempt to increase the speed of the developments after Bury Council had granted planning permission in January.
However, the health centre’s landlord, NHS Property Services, said the delay was because they had found pipistrelle bats, which are a protected species.
A spokesman for NHS Property Services said the value of the work is currently unknown as the tendering process to find a contractor is under way.
He said: “We are delighted that work on Ramsbottom Health Centre can now go ahead.
“We inherited the plans from the former primary care trust when NHS Property Services was launched on April 1, 2013.
Since then, we have been working hard to progress the project as quickly as possible for the people of Ramsbottom.
“The delay to the scheme was down to the discovery of pipistrelle bats — a species protected by law — which were found to be roosting in the area.
“NHS Property Services was required by planners at Bury Council to have a number of surveys carried out by ecologists to ensure that the works would not pose a risk to the bats.
“It is excellent news for patients in Ramsbottom that planners have confirmed these much-needed improvements can now proceed.
“We now expect the work to start in late November.”
Cllr Luise Fitzwalter, who set up the petition, said: “I am so pleased that NHS Property Services has listened to the people of Ramsbottom and is now getting on with this project, and I am grateful to the Bury Times for highlighting the concerns and to all those who supported us.
“The health centre building is at the moment unfit for purpose and can no longer even do minor operations.
“The refurbishment will bring us in line with most other practices and it is long overdue.”
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