New doctors’ surgery in Lower Wolvercote cancelled

Dear Neighbours,

The change of use application for the surgery space at Wolvercote Mill was approved by the Planning Committee of Oxford City Council on Tuesday 9 March. In spite of all our efforts we failed to secure the relocation of the current satellite surgery.
I am afraid that the decision was inevitable because the legal advice the Committee received, and the advice of Planning Officers, was that the developers had fulfilled the terms of the 106 condition, which did not explicitly state that a fitted-out surgery should be provided free.
The Clinical Commissioning Group standard, even for a relocated surgery, meant that a fit-out could have cost up to £1m. The CCG has no capital and, even if it had, its policy is not to fund surgeries unless there are more new residents than there will be at Wolvercote Mill together with Oxford  North in the future.
If CALA Homes had fitted out the surgery (and they were not required to do so), the rent needed would have been unaffordable. There was no possibility that funding could be found from elsewhere. We considered using some Infrastructure Levy money, but we could not have made enough of a difference.
We tried very hard to solve the problems. I had several email exchanges and a meeting with the CCG , and Layla Moran wrote to them twice. Mary Brown and I had a meeting with the Land Director of Cala Homes.
Lower Wolvercote’s current surgery is very small and on a restricted site. It is a highly valued local amenity. We must do whatever we can to maintain and, if possible,  improve it.
I do not think that it is either possible or sensible to attribute blame to any of the parties involved in this. Unaffordable costs, lack of money, a long-standing 106, and CCG rules combined to make it impossible.

Christopher Hardman
Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum

Photo gallery

Click on the gallery thumbnail to see the pictures in that gallery.

Cutteslowe galleries:

Wolvercote galleries:

The pictures in the Wolvercote Village gallery were taken by Nick Malden.
A number of the pictures of the Godstow Abbey sign unveiling in May 2016 were taken by Phil Charles.
All the other pictures were taken by David Stone.

Area features

These are some of the features which are relevant to the Area.

Wolvercote Village – upper and lower
Cutteslowe north of the Ring Road (A40)
The Cutteslowe Community Association is not in the area but hosts activities for people who live in the area.

Cutteslowe Park
Goose Green
Wolvercote Green (SSSI)
Port Meadow and Wolvercote Common (SSSI) – Wolvercote Commoners
Wolvercote Lakes
Oxford Canal
River – Thames (or Isis)
Godstow Nunnery
Five Mile Drive Recreation Ground
Oxford University Press Sports Ground
Wolvercote Cemetery
Ancient hedges
Ridge-and-furrow fields
Railway lines

The Post Box, Lower Wolvercote
Kendal Crescent Shops, Cutteslowe
North Oxford Garage
Jury’s Inn
and others

The Plough, Upper Wolvercote
The White Hart, Lower Wolvercote
Jacobs Inn, Lower Wolvercote
The Trout, Godstow, Lower Wolvercote

Wolvercote Primary School, Upper Wolvercote
Cutteslowe Primary School, Cutteslowe – This is not in the area, but draws children from the area.

St Peter’s Church, Upper Wolvercote
Wolvercote Baptist Church, Lower Wolvercote

Area map

The boundaries of the Wolvercote Neighbourhood Plan Area are the same as for the Wolvercote Ward in 2014. The Ward boundaries have changed slightly since then, but the Plan Area boundaries have stayed the same.
Click on the map to see a larger scale image.