Delay as surgery in Bury St Edmunds makes second bid to win pharmacy planning permission

Swan Surgery in Northgate Business Park, Bury St Edmunds
Swan Surgery in Northgate Business Park, Bury St Edmunds

A planning application decision over whether to approve a pharmacy at The Swan Surgery in Bury St Edmunds has been deferred to October 3.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council refused the plans for the Northgate Business Park site in December but the surgery opened the pharmacy in February and put in a planning appeal.

That appeal is still to take place.

In the meantime a new application, submitted by Swan Med, was due to be considered by the council’s development control committee this morning with planning officers recommending it be approved.

That has now been deferred to allow people more time to comment on the application.

The latest plans include an extra nine parking spaces which the planning officer’s report said would address concerns that have been previously raised.

Although a petition of more than 460 people support the pharmacy move, the council has received letters of objection raising concerns over the impact on existing pharmacies in the town, and anti social behaviour fears.

But the Swan Med pharmacy has produced figures for its first four months of business, showing that less than one per cent of its prescription income was from people who were not Swan Surgery patients.

And a council report to the development control committee said the surgery had taken a hard line to address anti-social behaviour concerns.

“Where there was an incident of unacceptable behaviour the surgery took immediate action to prevent the offender coming to the premises.

“This incident was not directly attributable to the pharmacy and demonstrates that the surgery are not prepared to tolerate unacceptable behaviour,” the report said.

It added that the new application, if approved, would see Swan Med withdraw its planning appeal over the previous application, and agree to meet its own costs