New Health and Welfare Centre plans approved

Dartmouth Health and Wellbeing Centre plans approved

Exciting plans for a modern £4.7 million health and wellbeing centre in Dartmouth have today been approved at a meeting of South Hams District Council’s Development Management Committee. This means Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust can go ahead with the approval process and legal agreements to move the scheme from planning into the building phase.The final sign off by the Trust Board, NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, GPs and South Hams District Council (the Council) is planned for January 2021. With the approvals in place, work could start on site as early as February next year. The Trust will deliver the facility via the Strategic Estates Partnership with Morgan Sindall Investments and Arcadis, with funding fromthe Council. The completed building will be owned by the Council and leased to the NHS.The centre is to be built on part of the land currently used as an overflow for the park and ride at the top of town. It will also house Dartmouth Medical Practice, Dartmouth Caring, and other services such as a retail pharmacy along-side a wide range of services currently offered by the Trust at Dartmouth Clinic, which was re-purposed as an interim health and wellbeing centre in 2017. The scheme also includes hardstanding car-parking spaces for the Council, which will ensure that any impact on the capacity of the park and ride, and parking for the town, is kept to an absolute minimum.

Liz Davenport, Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, which is leading the partnership project, said:

“We are delighted to have reached this significant and long-awaited milestone. This new centre will bring health and wellbeing services under one roof, for the benefit of the people of Dartmouth and surrounding areas. The purpose-designed centre will give local GPs the facilities they need to support the service into the future, and enable close working relationships and joined up care services with our community teams and voluntary sector partners.”

Cllr Hilary Bastone, South Hams District Council’s Deputy Leader said:

I am really pleased that this project can now move forward and we can support the build of a modern, fit for purpose health and wellbeing hub. This is fantastic news for the population of Dartmouth and the surrounding villages. In short, it will provide significant health care benefits and help improve capacity for a health care which is currently under strain.”

The planning determination period was extended beyond the usual 13-week approval process to address specific issues on the site in discussion with planners and allow solutions to be found for rainwater drainage, and to retain as many trees as possible. During this time, ground works and investigations have been undertaken on the site. The appointment of a building contractor will be made in December 2020.The Trust continues to work with NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, Dartmouth Medical Practice and the Council, which owns the development site, to progress the scheme.


  1. In the 2005 MCTI public survey of Dartmouth, Kingswear and the surrounding villages this project was second only to the heated indoor swimming pool, and it is brilliant news that it is coming to fruition. It will bring NHS services together under one roof for the whole area and solve the health service car parking which has been so problematical in the past. The local NHS is to be congratulated and thanked for their support for Dartmouth, and special mention is deserved for South Hams District Council and our councillors Jonathan Hawkins, Hilary Bastone and Rosemary Rowe, and the leadership given in the past by former council leader John Tucker

  2. The MCTI proposal was for a modern health care hub which was accessible to everyone in the NHS catchment area. And new car parking - Dartmouth’s bete noir. Care beds in the old hospital have been replaced by care in the community which is what most people prefer. When my wife Elizabeth was dying, it was certainly what we wanted for her. As for minor injury units the trend is towards GPs coping more with this and Dartmouth’s minor injury unit was nly one of many that have closed in Devon. Things change in health care as with everything else and most Dartmouth health care professionals agree with what has changed. Having said this, there are always Luddites in Dartmouth and these have their day and have their say and then they are ignored. I’ve always been intrigued why some Dartmouthians reject every change and I think its because most of them are old, and change for them just reminds them of this. I remember when some of them said what do we need a lifeboat for, and why do we need a heated indoor swimming pool. But these and the other MCTI projects have made Dartmouth into a desirable place to live and when all the 16 High Street shops selling knicks knacks to daytrippers have disappeared we can turn Dartmouth into a town that has shops and restaurants like La Rochelle. And then the town can prosper again.

    • Due to prioritising our emergency services in response to the COVID-19 situation, we are experiencing difficulties in sustaining staffing levels at our Minor Injuries Units (MIU) in Dawlish and Totnes Community Hospitals. From 4pm, 19th March, we are closing Dawlish and Totnes MIUs and referring anyone with a minor injury to the MIU at Newton Abbot Community Hospital.

      We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause our local communities. Thank you for your understanding at this time and for helping us to ensure we prioritise Torbay Hospital for our very sickest and emergency patients.

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