CONSTRUCTION work on a long-awaited health centre is due to start next week.
After a wait of 12 years, work on Buckley’s long delayed health centre had been due to start yesterday but no construction crews were on site.
The reason was a late exchange of contracts between the developers of the site and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB). Work will now start on Monday.
The health centre has been plagued with delays for more than a decade and work on the site had been approved in February.
Buckley councillor Ron Hampson said residents were annoyed with how long it has taken to get the health centre built.
He said: “We’re just hoping it all comes off now.
“Carl Sargeant got on to them and we got on to them late last night but they were late with the contracts.
“A lot of people in Buckley are annoyed and frustrated with how this has gone.”
Alyn and Deeside AM Mr Sargeant said he was disappointed work had not begun.
He said: “I, along with councillors and residents, was assured work would finally begin and I am very disappointed to hear this was not the case.
“It has taken far too long for this project to begin and Buckley residents have waited far too long for their much-needed health centre and feel let down.
“I have spoken to health board bosses, who have assured me contracts were exchanged on the site late on Wednesday.”
Ysgol Belmont has already been demolished to make way for the health centre, which will be sited on the junction of Liverpool Road and Alltami Road, near Elfed High School.
Cllr Carol Ellis said: “Maybe we’ll get lucky on Monday and they’ll start work.
“Overall, we’re talking about a wait of more than 12 years. It’s been such a long wait and there is a desperate need for the facility.
“We’re hopeful work can start as soon as possible. We’ve waited this long. It’s ridiculous.
“The facilities in Buckley aren’t fit for the residents or the practitioners.
“They need to hurry up and get it started and get it finished.”
Work on the centre is expected to take up to 12 months. The building will replace the existing, outdated health centre on Padeswood Road, providing accommodation for two general practices with 12 consulting rooms, in addition to ancillary support rooms.
When completed the centre will house seven consulting rooms ensuring provision for health board care services, including district nurses and midwives.
Parking for more than 100 vehicles will be available while proposals for dental facilities and a pharmacy have also been made.
A BCUHB spokesman said: “We are pleased to confirm contracts were exchanged for the Buckley Health Centre Project yesterday and we have now been advised the contractor will start work on the site on Monday.”