DEVELOPERS say they are hopeful of building a proposed new medical centre on the site of Frodsham High School.
Talks began several weeks ago between Yorkshire-based United Healthcare Developments Ltd and Cheshire County Council to investigate the possibility of locating a medical centre at the high school, which is due to close in 2009.
An agreement would end the two-year search for a suitable site for the medical centre, which United Healthcare wants to build on behalf of Cheshire West Primary Care Trust.
The new facility would house the town's two existing GP surgeries together, plus a range of other community health services.
The vexed question of finding a suitable site has divided Frodsham Town Council and residents.
The town council-owned Top Field at Frodsham Community Centre has so far been earmarked as the only location which is both suitable and potentially available.
As a last resort to ensure residents do not lose out on improved healthcare facilities, the town council has told the developer it is willing to lease Top Field - but insists that any contract should include a get-out clause if a more acceptable site becomes available.
The move sparked protests from some councillors and residents who are fiercely opposed to any development on the green open space in the heart of the town.
However, David Brown, managing director of United Healthcare Developments, said this week that he was still negotiating with the county council and that building the medical centre at Frodsham High School had 'certainly not been discounted'.
He added: 'We are assessing the possibility of building on the school site, which would probably be more acceptable for everyone.'