A COUNCIL’S decision to refuse an application for a new doctors surgery in Stow-on-the-Wold was called an “absolute shambles” by a resident present in the chamber.

The plan for the new surgery on Gypsy Field in Maugersbury was rejected on Wednesday, with an application for another surgery on Tall Trees off Oddington Road, having already been approved.

But with that proposal appearing to have stalled, having been given the go-ahead in 2015, JRN Properties Ltd had submitted its own counter application.

Two years ago, the Care Quality Commission condemned the town’s current surgery on Well Lane as not fit for purpose – triggering a race to find a new site more appropriate for a modern facility.

Speaking at Wednesday’s Cotswold District Council planning committee meeting, Cllr Dilys Neill, Stow ward member, said: “The new application has been submitted at the request of the doctors who feel demoralised and exhausted by the whole process.

“They are not asking us to throw out the Tall Trees plans, but to rather approve the JRN plans as a fall-back position.”

She said the doctors are “not convinced that the Tall Trees team will have a surgery up and running by this time next year”.

But she said where to build the surgery has “divided opinion” in the town, with more than 349 letters of objection to the Gypsy Field proposal having been submitted.

Concerns raised in the objection letters and by committee members at the meeting included the impact on the AONB and access to the Maugersbury site.

However, Keith Cuthbert, chairman of the Friends of Stow Surgery, said approving the second development would provide “the best opportunity for Stowe to have a surgery in the shortest possible time”.

“It will give choice instead of monopoly and will create a sense of urgency for each developer, which has been lacking up to this date.”

He said: “By rejecting it you will be demoralising doctors and nursing staff and denying patients a facility they deserve, knowing that the long wait goes on.”

In contrast, Cllr Sue Coakley said: “Two years is not unreasonable to have got to the stage of securing funding and starting pre-commencement works.”

She said: “We should only approve an application on this site [Gypsy Field] if we are absolutely convinced that no alternative application can be achieved for a doctors surgery in doctors surgery in Stowe.

“I don’t believe hand on heart that that’s the case.”

It is the third time CDC have refused JRN's plans for a surgery on Gypsy Field, with residents in attendance at the meeting vocalising their disgust with the decision as they left the chamber.