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Protect us from Reid!

I was interested to read Lesley Mayo's letter (January 22) regarding their difficulties in relocating to adequate surgery premises. Their situation very closely echoes our own.

In our suburban area, appropriate sites are very hard to come by. I have no gripe there, as it is a fact of life that land is scarce.

But we have identified a number of suitable sites over the past three years and have asked a third-party developer to build for us. We have the stated support of PCT, local councillors, patients and MP in our bid to improve.

Our frustration comes from two quarters. First, the planning department seems to restrict the size of the intended premises to that of the structure it replaces. Since we are looking at buying an old house and replacing it with a seven-doctor teaching practice, this just does not add up.

Second, the district valuer will use an ancient formula to put a 'value' of £300,000 on a piece of land that will cost us at least twice that to purchase. As a result the finances do not tally for the PCT and they are unable to provide sufficient rental for the development to go ahead.

We see no solution to this problem until the planners and valuers are instructed by higher powers to ascribe some priority to the development of primary care premises, in the same way as they do to housebuilders, who after all are in it for a profit.

Dr David Bush


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