Public inquiry into plans for pharmacy at Bury St Edmunds doctors’ surgery

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A public inquiry is due to be held to determine whether a doctors’ surgery in Bury St Edmunds should be granted planning permission for a pharmacy.

The Swan Surgery in Northgate Street was refused permission in December amid fears a needle exchange would lead to ‘undesirables’ in the area.

At the time, the surgery said it already treated more than 10 addicts, had no immediate plans for a needle exchange and that any future plans would be limited to 15 people and open to public consultation.

Despite the planning refusal, it opened a pharmacy earlier this year, pending the outcome of a planning appeal.

Last Tuesday, the hearing was cancelled after the planning inspector decided ‘considerable third party interest’ in both the planning appeal and the lawful development certificate appeal had made a formal public inquiry necessary.

Complex legal arguments put forward by objectors and supporters of the proposal also need to be explored.

A date for the inquiry has not yet been set.