ALDERSHOT'S push for a new £15million health centre took a step forward last Friday.

Wilky Property Holdings plc got the ball rolling by submitting a planning application to Rushmoor Council.

The news has delighted campaigners who have been battling for five years for a modern health centre to be built in the town.

Len Lamplugh, chairman of Aldershot Civic Society's planning group, said they were jubilant and added: "At long last we seem to be getting somewhere."

He has asked Rushmoor planners to give the scheme top priority so that, hopefully, work on the Hospital Hill site can start in the autumn.

Daryl Phillips, the council's development control manager, said last Friday that councillors were equally keen to see the scheme get off the ground.

But he warned that several issues had to be resolved before the blueprint could be considered by the planning committee.

Wilky, he said, had to establish if a proposed health and fitness suite at the centre complied with Government guidelines.

The council also wanted to make sure that the inclusion of health related shops would not draw business away from the town centre.

Mr Phillips said Wilky had been asked to organise a public exhibition of its plans as part of the consultation process.

"It's impossible to announce a timetable at this early stage," he said.

"But I would hope the scheme might be ready to go before the planning committee in mid-summer."