Divisive plans to build a new medical centre in Beaconsfield have moved a step forward with contracts being exchanged between the developers and Beaconsfield Town Council.

The new proposed site will be on the A40 between Wlkwood Rise and the Wyevale Garden Centre.

Two of the town’s main surgeries, The Simpson Centre and The Millbarn Centre, will merge and pool resources on a single site.

Dr Moona Rakhit from the Simpson Centre said: “After serving the Beaconsfield community for 25 years, we feel that this new facility will allow for innovative primary care joint working initiatives, preparing us for modern general practice.”

Richard Drew, Development Director at developers Apollo Capital Projects Development Ltd, said: ‘We have submitted a planning application for the medical centre and, should planning permission be granted, would expect the new medical centre to be open for business by the end of 2020.”

Alastair Pike, Deputy Mayor of Beaconsfield, said: “This is a significant step forward in a lengthy process. The anticipated benefits for Beaconsfield residents are considerable and the existing surgeries both urgently need new facilities.”

David Tippins, chairman of the Millbarn Patient Participation Group, confirmed last week that the PPG supported the proposals.

He said: “The Millbarn Patient Participation Group (PPG) welcomes the application for Planning Permission for new premises. The PPG has been working closely with Millbarn on these plans and is satisfied they represent an improvement for patients.

“We are pleased that the excellent service already provided by Millbarn will be maintained and distinct, whilst benefitting from closer working with the Simpson Centre and the new Primary Care Network. The new premises will be a vast improvement on the cramped and ageing existing site and will provide a much more modern and flexible patient experience.”

The proposals have however been criticised by a number of local residents. Concerns have been raised about a new centre would have on traffic, safety for children at the nearby school and ensuring the design is consistent with the surrounding area.