THURROCK Council has been working with health organisations in an effort to provide quality new health premises in the Corringham area.

The council’s cabinet heard on Wednesday that a local doctor - Dr Devaraja – had been trying to develop a new GP practice on the site of the former Graham James Infant School for several years.

Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, said: “I think the important thing for the community is that we do what we can to ensure there is good-quality GP provision and we do have health organisations that have the wherewithal and desire to purchase the site and make sure there are health facilities there.”

A report to cabinet explained: “Through joint working between the council, Thurrock CCG and NHS England a process has been agreed where two parties (one a commercial health buildings developer, and the other an NHS Trust) have prepared competitive proposals to purchase the land at the council’s asking price.”

Members heard a local doctor, Dr Devaraja, had been trying to develop the site for several years and the report explained the new development would “establish facilities within which Dr Devaraja, and other GPs in the local area also working from outdated and inappropriate buildings, could operate”.

The report went on: “The identified process is that the premises group of NHS England’s Essex Team should decide which of the two interested parties should be preferred, considering a range of matters, including the views of the CCG and the Council. The outcome of this consideration is expected during September 2014.

“The preferred party would then complete the acquisition of the site at the agreed purchase price of £520,000.”

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Kent said: “The important thing is that the people of Corringham will get modern, purpose-built health facilities on their doorstep – that has to be the aim and that should now happen.”

Cabinet agreed to vary its earlier decision so the plan could go ahead.