Two Chislehurst medical centres will merge into one huge new facility, local ward councillors have confirmed, under plans which include the rebuilding of Chislehurst Library.

Chislehurst Conservative Councillor Suraj Sharma confirmed the move on his party’s website earlier this month, saying the larger facility would enable GPs to “provide a wider range of services” to the community such as audiology services, blood tests and counselling.

It’s the latest step forward for the project and comes after Labour councillors called in the decision to approve the move at a meeting in October.

At that meeting, several Labour councillors expressed surprise the new library would be accompanied by a medical centre.

“I haven’t been following it closely but I was under impression the development would involve a supermarket and flats,” Clock House ward member Ian Dunn said at that meeting.

He asked members to “imagine my surprise” when it was instead a scheme involving a medical centre which was backed.

Fellow Labour member Vanessa Allen also asked: “Are we aware that Bromley’s clinical CCG lead is a Chislehurst GP?”.

“Transparency and scrutiny do matter…suspicions will fester if answers don’t come forward,” she added.

Cllr Allen was referring to Bromley’s clinical lead on the south-east London CCG, Dr Andrew Parson, a Chislehurst GP.

According to previous declarations of interest, Dr Parson is a partner with a 14 per cent share in the Chislehurst Medical Practice, which along with the Woodlands Practice is set to be merged at the Chislehurst Library site.

When contacted this month by the local democracy reporting service, the South East London Clinical Commissioning Group – the united health body which includes what was once the Bromley CCG branch – watered down potential of a conflict of interest.

“Dr Andrew Parson’s interests are clearly set out in the CCG register of interest and all conflicts are managed in line with the CCG’s conflicts of interest policy,” a spokesperson for the CCG said.

“When the business case comes to the CCG for formal approval, Dr Parson will take no part in the discussions or decision-making process.”

A letter of support from the CCG for the proposal was also referenced multiple times by councillors at the October meeting.

While the CCG didn’t present the letter after enquiries from the local democracy reporting service, they did confirm their support for the move.

“The CCG has discussed the principles of the development with the two practices and supports that it is consistent with the CCG’s wider primary care strategy and estates strategy and will bring benefits to patients and provide more resilience for primary care services in the area,” a spokesperson said.

Bromley’s Conservatives have backed the project multiple times at meetings in recent months, signing off on the scheme by specialist medical health care developers Prime in September.

In his post earlier this month, Cllr Sharma said amalgamating the two centres would “help safeguard a sustainable future for primary healthcare in Chislehurst”.

“By combining their activities into one significantly larger new building (with associated parking), the GPs will be able to provide a wider range of services for the whole community,” he said.

A temporary library near the original site will be in place during construction. Cllr Sharma confirmed it would hold a smaller amount of physical stock but this would be mitigated by waiving the reservations charge for Chislehurst residents.

Detailed plans would have to face Bromley councillors again before construction starts.