‘Swift’ progress on new medical facilities for Tonbridge, with a sneak peek inside!
Date: July 2020
Working on behalf of real estate investment trust Assura, work to the new Tonbridge Medical Centre progresses well with some new additions for the summer months ahead of completion.
Construction of the state-of-the-art new facility on the site of the former Teen and Twenty club has added swift boxes to offer additional nesting space for a nearby colony, after a request from Tonbridge Swift Group.
Six boxes have been installed for the birds, which arrive from Southern Africa to nest here in early May and pair for life - returning to the same nesting site year after year.
Construction of the medical centre was temporarily paused back in March to ensure safe working practices under social distancing but now progresses well, with sights now set on an autumn opening to patients.
Senior Development Manager Jon Webb from developer Assura said: “We’re delighted at how the team has risen to the challenge of finding safe ways to restart works so that we can get this building completed and into use for the NHS as quickly as possible. And at a time when we all need some good news, it’s lovely that this will not only become a home for Tonbridge Medical Group, but also – we hope – a new home for local swifts.”
Martin Garwood, from The High Weald Swift Group, said: “Sadly, the number of swifts returning to nest in the town is in steady decline but the provision of special nesting places for them can and does make a real difference. Assura has set a great example for other developers to follow in helping to keep this wonderful bird in our summer skies.”
The new centre sits on River Lawn Road and will replace the practice’s Pembury Road and Higham Lane sites with one purpose-built, modern building. It will allow Tonbridge Medical Group to better serve the growing list of patients using its ageing premises, which don’t have the space needed and currently limit the services the practice can provide.
Dr Tim Palmer from the practice said: “In this year when primary care has been so key to the national response to coronavirus, moving our work into a building that will allow us to grow the range of community-based services for our patients has perhaps never been so important. They day when we can open the doors to our patients will be a real milestone for our community after the support we’ve all shown each other.”
New CGIs have been created to give patients a look at the inside for the first time at the centre’s flexible waiting area. The building will have a range of consulting and treatment rooms, a self-contained minor procedures and treatment suite, a pharmacy and an ambulance bay.
The new centre will be less reliant on fossil fuels than the old buildings, generating much of its own power via solar panels on the roof and using measures such as air-source heat pumps to help reduce energy usage and so running costs.
Completion is anticipated by November 2020.