A CONTROVERSIAL bid for a new medical centre in the Dales is tabled again today - and councillors will be asked to grasp the nettle and decide if the project goes ahead.

Trinity Medical Properties has altered the design of the two-storey building off Brentwood in Leyburn in response to strong resistance from a number of local residents.

The foundations will be laid in a shallow depression dug into the ground to take half a metre off the overall height, the roof will now be made of slate tile rather than sheet metal and a number of windows have been removed from the original design to ensure neighbouring properties are not overlooked.

However, people with homes nearby are still worried the new centre will mean more traffic on what is essentially a residential estate.

The project aims to bring all of the town's health services under one roof, with space for GPs, midwives, health visitors and district nurses as well as administrators.

A modern waiting room with a children's play area, a private interview room and six additional consulting rooms, together with space for minor surgery, a staff room and seminar room are all included in the blueprints.

No one has yet denied the need for better facilities - but neighbours are claiming it could mean they will have to put up with as many as 500 extra traffic movements a day.

The figure is disputed by the applicant; Trinity Medical Properties is adamant there wouldn't be the staff to cope with so many patients.

GPs have also emphasised the new centre is not expected to attract any more people than those on the patient lists at the current surgery in Leyburn.

However, it is members of Richmondshire District Council's environment committee who must decide the issue today.

They have already stalled a vote once, pressing Trinity Medical Properties to examine the possibility of a different site in Leyburn.

However, an independent consultant has since indicated Brentwood is the most realistic option - and a 150-page report to be tabled today concludes with the district authority's planning officers recommending the application is approved.