A GP surgery which shut down last year could be set for a new lease of life as a residential care home.

Southbourne Grove Surgery, at 314 Southbourne Grove, Westcliff, closed on November 30 last year over concerns the building was no longer suitable.

Patients of the surgery were left furious at the decision made by the Southend Clinical Commissioning Group, which forced them having to then travel to the Pall Mall Surgery, at Leigh Primary Care Centre, London Road, Leigh, for appointments instead.

With the site being currently vacant, plans to convert the practice into a residential care home have been welcomed by the community.

If proposals are approved by Southend Council, the care home will serve up to four residents, having three members of staff and four car parking spaces on site.

Dr Krishna Chaturvedi, who owned the Southbourne Grove Surgery, said: “Working at the surgery was one of the biggest moments and memories I will ever have as part of my professional career.

“I felt lost when the surgery closed, I’ve been there for 24 years, so have always been very grateful and humbled by the patients there.

“Then this proposal came along.

“I always wanted the practice to be used for something concerning local health care, and if this gets under way, it will be.

“This could be a way to utilise the service in a way so that it can help people who might be limited or underprivileged. If these plans go ahead, they will have my support.”

Paul Roche, from Westcliff, was previously concerned about the impact the closure would have on elderly residents.

The 64-year-old said: “I would much rather they use it as this than for a block of flats and I’m glad the building isn’t going to waste and can be used for the community again.

“I do think that sometimes these homes close down as quick as they open, but if it’s no longer going to waste, it can only be a good thing.

“I would think having this in place would benefit the elderly.

“We will just have to see if plans are carried out.”

Councillor Meg Davidson added: “It’s been empty for a while now, and there’s a need for care homes in Southend, especially with the growing elderly population.

“It was a real blow to the elderly when it closed because of them travelling further, and there was a lot of concern from residents at the time. It’s always a good thing when an empty premises is put back in use, helping with the demand we have.

“It was well used as a GP surgery and although the majority can continue to have care at home, this will create the capacity to help those who need full-time care.”