A councillor is optimistic a deal can be struck to bring a much-needed new surgery to Great Yeldham.

Health bosses had originally planned to build a practice on the green at Whitlock Drive, but residents campaigned to retain the area for recreation.

After about a decade of negotiations and delays, the now defunct NHS Mid Essex Primary Care Trust carried out a public consultation last February asking for people’s views on three sites.

Whitlock Drive remained the preferred option, but Great Yeldham Parish Council, which owns the green, asked Braintree Council to change its designation from community use to open space, which it did in June last year, seemingly throwing the plans back up in the air.

Last month, NHS England, which has taken on responsibility for assessing the options, admitted a decision had yet to be made, but insisted it remained committed to improving primary care services in the area.

District councillor Iona Parker (Con, Yeldham) has welcomed its stance.

She hopes NHS England can come to an agreement over opening a practice either on a site in Nuns Walk Field or an area of the Hunnable Industrial Estate - both of which have so far been allocated for community use in Braintree Council’s Local Development Framework.

She said: “Both would allow the construction of a new surgery, be easily accessible from the village and have adequate parking.

“The task now is to persuade NHS England to provide a new surgery on one of these sites.”