Roebuck House update


An open letter received from Mark Thomas, Practice Manager, Chelston Hall Surgery.


I thought I would take the opportunity of writing to you all to give you the very latest news on Roebuck House and ensuring you are all up to date.

We now enter a critical phase which will see a final resolution on the 12th April.

What will be the resolution?

The scenario is that either the 12th April will bring our vision of the Abbey Road Health and Community Hub to realisation or the ‘new’ owners of Roebuck House will look to convert the building to housing stock or for minimum work to be done and the site returned to the market as a suite of offices.

If we do not achieve success Abbey Road Surgery will be at jeopardy as we have to find a new home by March 2015. This may not be in our current locale!

Where are we?

As of today we are ready to purchase three floors of the seven available.

Working with our many partners we will deliver:

Ground floor – pharmacy, community cafe and community services

First floor – GP surgery

Second Floor – Relocation of the Waverley team, meeting rooms and office space

Working with the community we are keen to see the building being used 24/7 to ensure the hub achieves maximum usage and realises its potential to be the beating heart of Abbey Road/Melville locality.

We know the Health and Community Hub has the full support of the Mayor, local councillors, local service providers and local residents.

With your enthusiasm, support and willingness to be involved we know our vision is something that everyone wants to see achieved.

What are the problems and why might success not be achieved.

For us to deliver the project we have to purchase and fully refurbish three floors.

Roebuck House itself needs a significant facelift as it is now showing its age and remedial works are extensive.

These include new windows, removal of asbestos and much work to the facade.

We need this work completed by the owners, If we have to pay for this work then our budget for refurbishment will have a shortfall which we will not be able to find.

The project will therefore fail.

In our estimation £100-£150k is required for the total site. Without this money the Health and Community Hub will not be delivered.

We are open to ideas…. (time is running out)

I must stress that the new owners of Roebuck House are extremely supportive of our project but clearly have their own financial demands/requirements and for them the total site needs to be utilised.

There remains a basement and three upper floors.

The basement (ground floor from Abbey Road side) is perfect for a shop of some description – community food bank is one idea, childrens centre or simply parking.

The three upper floors are basically a blank canvas and could be anything from housing to office space.

Being radical I/we have looked to rent the basement for a long term lease/and the upper floors too to try and complete and start the project moving.

We would do this if we knew others would join us.

We are open to ideas…

What’s happening between now and the 12th April?

There are a series of meetings running parallel over the next two weeks involving many of you our partners and key local supporters of the Health and Community Hub. (Local councillors, Public Health, Safer Communities, Mayor, TDA and CDT and the South Devon and Torbay CCG) . There is huge enthusiasm and support from everyone to deliver our vision and we are very close.

What else could we do with Roebuck?

What other financial funds / grants could be harnessed?

What other organisations could relocate to Roebuck House?

Our project is the best option for the local health service, local residents and local economy.      

With the partners we have I am sure we can be very creative.

We now need your help and support more than ever…….

If we can deliver the vision ,Roebuck House (or whatever name the community desires) will be open no later than 1st October 2014.

A building for the community, designed by the community with the services the community needs, even down to the branding and artwork featured in the Health and Community Hub.



Mark Thomas

Practice Manager

Chelston Hall Surgery
tel: 01803 605359

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.