A DOCTOR'S surgery must be expanded to accommodate hundreds of new residents heading to the district because of new housing developments.

Councillor James Abbott called on Braintree Council to use money set aside by house builders to make improvements to Silver End surgery during a meeting where an application for 225 new homes in Cressing was discussed.

The scheme had already received outline permission last year and councillors voted in favour of granting full approval to applicant, Countryside Properties.

However, Mr Abbott voted against approving the reserved matters and raised concerns about the impact the number of new homes planned for Cressing and neighbouring village Silver End would have on the doctors surgery in Broadway.

He said "All of these sites both in Cressing and nearby Silver End are housing estates. There are no onsite substantial services or infrastructure - nothing at all.

"The fact remains that those services have not been provided and one in particular I harp on about is GP facilities.

"The contribution from this development is going to the Silver End surgery as did the contribution from Appletree Farm which was granted recently and the Bellway site in Mill Lane and all the Silver End sites.

"My question is there must be quite a big pot of money by now. When, giving that Braintree Council owns Silver End surgery, is there going to be an upgrade to accommodate all these new patients who will be trying to register there because because I'm not aware that is the case to date."

In response to Mr Abbott's question, the council's planning officer Neil Jones said money from S106 agreements, where developers are obliged to provide funding to services such as health and education, was rarely paid when a deal was confirmed.

He added: "There is certainly a gap between a section 106 agreement being agreed and the council actually receiving the money which it can then use and pass to the NHS to carry out improvements to a surgery.

"The next time we have a meeting with NHS England and their estates manager I will certainly flag up the particular concerns about Silver End, the number of developments feeding into it and ask them to make sure that they have that in hand in terms of starting to work on a project so they are not taken by surprise when we offer them the money in the future."