EXCITING times lie ahead for the people of Church Hill after work finally started on a £3.55 million redevelopment of the neighbourhood centre.

THE UK’s leading healthcare property developer and investor, Assura Group, recently started work on its ambitious scheme.

The 17,000 sq ft development, which will include a new medical centre and several retail units, will see the current practice of Dr McGregor & Partners relocate to the site, increasing its patient capacity by approximately 3,000.

The scheme, in conjunction with LSP Developments, will also involve the relocation of several other local businesses, including a pharmacy and NHS dentist, which will occupy the ground floor of the centre. The new medical practice will occupy the first floor. A further residential phase will be developed by Bellway Homes.

Amanda Roddy, Assura Group development manager, said: “We’re very pleased to be starting on site with this new development, which will not only provide a valuable boost to the community in terms of medical service, but will also create a retail hub in the redeveloped centre. We expect the scheme to have a very positive impact on the Church Hill area of Redditch once completed.”

Ed Sutton, managing director at LSP Developments said the redevelopment of Church Hill District Centre had been a long-term goal of Redditch Council, and added: “As a team, we have worked proactively with them, to which the inclusion of Maple View Medical Practice has enabled a viable development to evolve, providing a more user friendly centre, with improved access and parking.”

He said the development would improve services and be a real benefit to the community.

Dr Catherine McGregor of Dr McGregor & Partners, said the practice has been campaigning for new premises for some time, so they were very excited to see work starting on their new home, which would increase patient capacity and improve facilities.

Church Hill councillor Bill Hartnett said that although he had not been entirely happy with the final design, as he had not wanted the bus lane opened up to other traffic, he believed the redevelopment would be good for the people of Church Hill.

The scheme was designed by architect West Hart Partnership and is expected to be completed in 2013.