PLANS to extending the GP service in Halstead have taken a step closer to completion after full planning permission has been granted.

NHS Property Services submitted the plans in hopes of changing the hospital’s former X-ray block into a surgery.

The proposals would see the expansion of the existing Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery on Factory Lane West at Halstead Hospital.

The plans were first unveiled in in February, with the application saying the proposed development provides “an opportunity to optimise the use of this previously developed land” as well as “making a clear contribution to the healthcare sector and tend to patients within the catchment area, provide employment and provide a service at a site that is currently under-utilised”.

The plans would see seven staff operate from the premises, comprising two GPs, three nursing/clinical staff and two reception/administration staff.

The site consists of a vacant single-story building within the hospital complex, which used to be the X-ray block.

There are ten car parking spaces on the site which also includes two disabled parking spaces.

The plans include a reception and waiting room, three consulting rooms and one treatment room, as well as an interview and virtual consulting room, and toilets and staff facilities.

Plans were heavily supported by residents, as well as the Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board, who said it “fully supports the application”.

A statement continued: “The Elizabeth Courtald Surgery currently operates with a deficit space compared to the nationally set standards for primary healthcare facilities.

“The additional capacity created by this proposal would significantly reduce this existing deficit and provide additional consulting rooms for the delivery of services to patients.”

At a Halstead Town Council meeting in March, plans were given unanimous backing by councillors as well.

Now, the plans have been given the green light by Braintree Council planning development manager Christopher Paggi, who granted the plans last week.