HEALTH bosses are warning that plans to develop a £3 million health centre at Uplands House could be scrapped and facilities moved on to another site.

NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group has been working on a project to build a new health centre to replace the existing Whitefield Health Centre at Uplands House on Bury New Road.

But it is now believed the costs involved in retaining and restoring some of the historic features of the former medical centre could prove too expensive.

At the latest CCG governing body meeting, quality and performance lead Peter Bury said the amount required to fund the project has increased and fresh approach needs to be taken.

He added: “It is down to the fact it is a historic building and the need to preserve quite a lot of the facade of the building.

“In view of that, we have decided to go with fresh proposals for providing provision – possibly looking at a new site for it.”

The CCG, NHS Property Services and NHS England have been working the scheme to build a replacement centre providing primary and community health care.

Costs for the project have been estimated at £3.4 million for a partial new build incorporating Uplands House refurbishment; £3.9 million for a new build at the rear of the Uplands building or £3.7 million for a totally new build at a different site.

Health bosses have favoured a partial build incorporating Uplands, however, early estimates suggest the costs for the preferred option are likely to rise by around £1.5 million.

This has been put down to the desire to retain the façade of Uplands House due to it being considered of historic interest.

It is also believed that the project risks having planning permission refused if the retention of the facade is not included in the proposals.

As a result a total new build in the Wheatfield area has been put forward as an option.

Health chiefs added that any decision to move to a new site would follow consultation with patients.

They also warned of a delay to the project which has been ongoing since 2016 when the CCG was advised that the centre off Bury New Road needed a revamp as the building was ageing.

GPs from the centre have been informed about the delay.

Speaking after the meeting, chief operating officer of Bury CCG, Stuart North said they were committed to supporting a capital build in Whitefield to accommodate the Uplands practice as well as other community services for the wider population in the local area.

He added: “The CCG is the prime sponsor of this project, which would be managed and funded by NHSPS.

“NHSPS have, for some time, been examining the prospect of building on the existing site of the Uplands practice, which includes the ruins of a building of historical interest known as Uplands House.

“It is now increasingly clear that using public funds to develop the site in this way is not going to be economically viable for NHSPS so other options, including a new build on a different site, are being re-examined.

“This preparatory work for the Whitefield build has been progressing for several months and involvement of the users of the build has been an ongoing feature.

“Movement to any new site would be subject to an engagement phase with users of the service to ensure any decision made to relocate services is made within due governance.

“When we are in a position to communicate and ask for views on proposals we will engage in this dialogue with the community.”