Work on the development of a controversial medical centre is not scheduled to begin until summer this year, following numerous setbacks.
Plans to demolish Ashton Town Hall and build a new community healthcare centre on the site were greenlit by Wigan Council back in January 2017.
Councillors also backed a 21-year lease for the Bryn Street site, which has caused anger among Ashton residents since day one, with concerns about an influx in traffic on the main road.
However despite demolition of the old hall taking place in August of last year, there has still been no movement when it comes to building the hotly contested hub.
Health chiefs, who are working alongside construction company Eric Wright Health and Care, have now confirmed that they are “looking to start work” in summer and that there will be an estimated build time of 12 months.
Dr Tim Dalton, local GP and chairman of NHS Wigan Borough Clinical CG, said,“We are fully committed to improving the local NHS facilities for patients in Ashton. We and our partners,
Eric Wright, have worked hard to get to the point where we hope to be able to start the build shortly.
“Delays on builds are common as the approval process is complicated and sometimes challenging and I appreciate this can be frustrating for local patients who need this new facility.
“However, this is an exciting time and I look forward to the improvement of NHS facilities for our Ashton patients.”
The CCG has said that there is a number of reasons the building has not already been completed. It was announced last summer that construction would be finished within 12 months.
According to health chiefs, initial concerns encouraged the CCG and Eric Wright to conduct a longer consultation.
As a result of this, plans went to a planning committee “later than expected” and the council’s decision process included a site visit as well as a request for more details on the proposals.
There has also been a delay with funding for fixtures and fittings, the final details of which are “being finalised”.
Despite concerns, health bosses have decided that the medical centre is the best way forward to improve Ashton’s healthcare provisions.