WICKHAM Surgery has won permission to expand despite objections from many local people.

Objectors are worried the surgery will grow and take on the 14,000 people who are expected to move to the new development at nearby Welborne.

They fear the impact of increased traffic and parking problems on local roads in the village.

The surgery, which has 13,000 patients and is close to capacity, wants to construct a small extension to the Gudgeon Wing but that would enable it to revamp the internal layout to provide 12 new consulting rooms and increase the number of its medical services.

Objector Wendy Greenish, of the Wickham Society and Wickham Residents Association, said there has been an intention by the local NHS commissioning group for half of the Welborne residents to use Wickham Surgery. The planning committee heard that was an intention that the commissioning group no longer holds.

Developer Buckland has left space in the Welborne development for a doctors' surgery.

Geoff Philpotts, of the Wickham Community Land Trust, which owns nearby houses, raised concerns about traffic

Loraine Rappe, from Wickham Parish Council, said on balance the council supported the expansion plan.

Ward councillor Neil Cutler said the expansion was needed to help cope with 120 extra homes at Wickham Court mobile home park in North Boarhunt, 200 homes in Wickham and development in Knowle.

He said he understood the concerns over parking but the expansion would reduce the need for patients to travel elsewhere for services.

Surgery manager Ed Kennedy said Bloor Homes, which owns land next to the surgery, had offered land for 30 parking spaces if they develop there in the future.

Cllr Frank Pearson, who represents the Central Meon Valley ward, said: "We need this development to keep on providing the healthcare that Wickham is famous for. It is one of the few good things the Blair government provided."

The planning committee voted by eight votes to none to approve the expansion plan.

The surgery has patients from as far afield as Swanmore, Droxford, Boarhunt, Shirrell Heath and Shedfield.