Rent dispute threatens to derail health centre start

A squabble over money is at risk of delaying the start of construction on Sudbury’s new health centre.

The building of the £10million facility in Church Field Road is due to start in March after years of planning.

However, one of the groups that will occupy the centre, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, is stalling on signing the final tenancy agreement due to costs.

The trust’s share of the building will be just under 20 per cent, leaving its annual bill for the lease at £129,000, with a £104,000 service charge on top of this.

The wrangle over money was due to be discussed by board members of NHS Suffolk yesterday.

It is believed that if an agreement cannot be thrashed out, a new provider could be sought.

All the other occupiers of the centre – Siam Surgery, Serco Services and Suffolk County Council – have indicated they will agree to the lease.

A spokesman for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said: “As with any major development, we have a duty to look carefully at each aspect of the proposal to make sure it will meet the needs of the people using our services, and offers value for money.

“We are going through this due diligence process at the moment and expect to complete these approvals within the next few weeks.

“We are fully committed to the Sudbury health facility and look forward to its completion in 2014.”