A doctor’s surgery in Borehamwood that was put up for sale last year has been listed as an asset of community value by Hertsmere Borough Council.

The protection has been granted for Fairbrook Medical Centre even though it failed to sell when it went to auction.

The medical centre has a lease until October 2037 and there is no intention of medical services ceasing at the site.

But that did not stop Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council seeking community value status, and Cllr Harvey Cohen, who has planning responsibilities in Hertsmere, agreed to the request to list it as an asset.

The listing, which will last for five years, means the local community will have an opportunity to buy the site before it ever goes back on the market.

Cllr Cohen said: "It is clear that Fairbrook Medical Centre is providing a key community facility which furthers the social wellbeing of the local community as it allows for the community to be treated and cared for in their local location meeting their health and wellbeing needs."

A report accompanying his decision, said the owner of the site had objected to the nomination, via Lombard Legal. The letter of objection confirmed the site had not been sold, and has not been re-entered into any subsequent auction.

The objection also confirmed Fairbrook Medical Centre is for permitted use to provide medical services for the NHS, and no planning applications have been submitted to the borough council since 2004.

It also questioned the motivation behind the nomination, which they believe to be intended to stymie the owner’s commercial property investment strategy, although Cllr Cohen noted judgements which ruled the motivation behind nominations is "largely irrelevan"”.

The representatives for the landowner also confirmed provisions on the lease would mean any sale would not result in medical services stopping.