Surgery in Bury St Edmunds is refused pharmacy over crime fears

Swan Surgery in Northgate Business Park
Swan Surgery in Northgate Business Park
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A doctors surgery has been told it cannot open a pharmacy, following protests that this will lead to crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Swan Surgey at the Northgate Business Park applied for planning permission for the move.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control met today and despite officers recommendation for approval councillors turned the scheme down.

The surgery already runs a dispensary which disposes of needles for people with diabetes or on opiates, said a committee report.

It wanted to run a monitored dose scheme and needle exhange in the future although there there were no immediate plans to introduce this.

The Swan said it already treated more than 10 drug addicts and would be limited to about 15 if it ever wanted to introduce a needle exchange which would itself be open to public consultationr

A petition of 336 people, and 42 letters from residents and businesses claimed it would attract drug addicts to the area, and lead to crime and drug equipment in the street.

There was also a petition in support of the move with 201 signatures while seven residents and businesses wrote backing the move.

One patient at the surgery, Anne Langan said the extended opening hours would be ‘extremely useful – particularly at Bank Holidays and in the event of emergencies,’ the report said.

But Vivian Kemp from Barwell Road said the nearby dance school would be ‘seriously affected’ and David Cole said it would bring ‘undesirables to the area to trade drugs for methadone’.