AFTER five years in the making, work has now started on the construction of a new £5 million medical centre in Chipping Norton.

GPs from the practice cut the turf on the 2,000 sq metre development, in Russell Way, off London Road, next to the town's War Memorial Hospital, earlier this month to mark the start of the project.

The Chipping Norton Health Park is a joint venture by the town’s White House and West Street surgeries, which will both relocate from their individual premises in the centre of town.

Built over three floors, the centre will have two surgeries,18 consulting rooms, 16 clinical rooms and a pharmacy and will serve more than 14,000 patients.

It has been planned and designed by the specialist primary care team at the Bristol office of national property adviser GVA while H W Pollard & Sons have been appointed as the main contractor.

Doctor David Edwards, from White House Surgery, said both surgeries have been operating for many years out of cramped, older premises with poor access and parking.

“Patients of both surgeries can now look forward to facilities that are far more suited to today’s healthcare requirements," he said.

"There will be more space for consultations, additional services, and importantly an environment that provides a much improved patient experience.

"Patients will no longer have difficulty finding a parking space as we are including a large car park and bicycle park.”

Dr Jane Pargeter, from West Street Surgery, said: “This has been a project five years in the making, and we are all delighted that construction has now started and our dreams are very close to becoming reality.”

Chippy Mayor Mike Tysoe said: "It's definitely the right idea to amalgamate the two surgeries together.

"I have only slight query on the actual location because it's actually away from the centre of town and bus services are going to have to be diverted but I guess that's going to happen anyway.

"Generally it's a good idea."

The medical centre is due to be competed in January next year.