Primary health hub plan for Arntz site

The proposed Medical Centre as seen from the underground car park.

The proposed Medical Centre as seen from the underground car park.

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A decision on proposals for a massive £40m new primary care health centre on the former Arntz Belting site is expected to be made over the coming months.

The plans were submitted for planning approval over a year ago as part of a revised masterplan for the site.

The 75,000 sq ft multi-use heath care facility would be the first in Derry’s cityside, if the masterplan is approved.

The facility would be financed by a joint investment from the public and private sectors and would occupy one end of the expansive Arntz site, accessed via Pennyburn Industrial Estate.

The revised plans replaced a much smaller 15,000 sq. ft. medical facility and third level research and development facilities in the original planning application, submitted earlier.

The centre was modelled on the best examples throughout the UK for new Health Care centres.

The proposed hub has been designed to house eight GP practices with 25 doctors and ancillary services.

Proposals for the massive centre would see a wide range of NHS services come under the same roof for the first time, in line with the Western Health and Social Care Trust’s ‘Transforming Your Care’ programme, which involves treating more people in their own community.

As well as GP surgeries and Consultants, the proposals include inhouse dentistry, X-ray department, physiotherapy, paediatrics, mental health and occupational therapy, combined with space for strong records and offices.

The plans for the site include hundreds of parking spaces and underground parking for staff.

Arntz Belting Company, which made timing belts for vehicles and machinery, ceased operations back in 2010 with the loss of 115 jobs.

The 14-acres site stretches from Pennyburn Pass to Pennyburn Industrial Estate.