A petition calling for a new health centre to be built on land, currently allocated for 72 houses in Llantwit Major is to be presented to the Vale of Glamorgan Council at a meeting on Monday.
Organised by local Llantwit First Councillors, the petition has received over 3,200 signatures and urges the Vale of Glamorgan Council to make land on Eagleswell Road, available to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to build a new health centre.
Speaking to Bro Radio, Llantwit First Councillor Gwyn John said that the Town "doesn't have the infrastructure to caterer for the growth in people across the wider areas."
Two doctors surgeries currently serve the town, with Cllr John claiming that Coastal Vale is “at capacity” and the Western Vale building is “over 50 years old”.
He said: “The actual building needs replacing, it’s not in a great condition. It needs replacing and modernising.”
Despite the land, which was the former site of Eagleswell school being allocated in the Local Development Plan for 72 houses - local councillors and residents feel the space, which is the "last green space left in the area" would benefit the community most as a Health Care Centre.
Cllr John said "It's the only piece of land left in the Town, all the other land has been swallowed up right up to the bypass. This land has been a site for a number of years, since the old school and its just derelict and it desperately needs action."
"I'm sure the Vale Council could give us a proportion of this land for a health centre, quite simply ramming more housing just means we have more problems and if we don't have the infrastructure provided, what are people down this neck of the woods going to do?"
When asked what he hoped would come from the petition being presented to the Vale Council, Cllr John said "I hope the Leader of the Council will take this back to his Cabinet and that he and his officers will recommend that a proportion of this land be given to a health centre hub for the future of Llantwit Major."
"I certainty feel that this is something we must have and I think in fairness, I'm asking for the Cabinet for this. If they turn us down, I won't just be disappointed I'll be absolutely gutted for the thousands of people in the Western Vale. I think the Vale Council will have to answer the people, if they decide against this, because the people will not stand for this any longer"
Cardiff and Vale UHB is drawing up plans for major changes on how clinical services are delivered. This will likely see three ‘health and wellbeing centres’ with services like x-rays, out-of-hours GPs, community mental health teams, and ambulatory care.
The health board is also planning nine ‘wellbeing hubs’, either developing existing places like health centres, leisure centres or libraries; or in new buildings such as Maelfa in Cardiff. These wellbeing hubs will include GP services, midwifery, and primary mental health care.
The idea is to move clinical services away from large hospitals like the University Hospital of Wales, at the Heath in Cardiff, avoiding the need for people to travel long distances for care.
Cllr John has previously supported this move, but says residents in the wester part of the Vale of Glamorgan are currently underserved with health services - and with the hundreds of new houses being built in the area, Llantwit would be ideal for a new health centre.
A Cardiff and Vale UHB spokesperson previously said: “The intention is for a wellbeing hub to be placed in the western Vale, but this may be some years away as part of our overall plan. In terms of where the site will be based, this will be subject to an engagement process.
“There will be a health and wellbeing centre in the Vale; work will be commencing in terms of engagement in relation to this within the next few months.”
A Vale of Glamorgan council spokesperson said: “Any need for a new medical centre would be a matter for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.
“No planning application for such a building has been submitted and currently the land in question has been allocated as a significant strategic development site for the council’s house building programme. Under the local development plan, it would be used to meet the housing needs of those on the council’s waiting list.”