Surgery fails in bid for pharmacy

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COUNCILLORS have rejected a move by a GP surgery to open its own pharmacy, arguing that this would undermine an existing service in the same area.

Mount Farm Surgery, on Moreton Hall, had applied to St Edmundsbury Borough Council to convert part of its building into a pharmacy, which would open 100 hours a week and sell over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions.

But bosses at Croasdales in nearby Tallou Court said this would put their business at risk.

Thursday’s development control committee meeting decided it would not agree to the application after referring to two planning policies, its own local plan and that of the European Union.

The latter argues it is important that everyday amenities are protected, while St Edmundsbury’s local plan states it is important to maintain the vitality of shopping centres.

This was against reccomendations by council officers who said that the small scale nature of the GP proposal would not adversely impact on nearby retailers and that the effects on Croasdales was a commercial consideration as opposed to a planning issue.

But a petition of 626 names against the proposal was received alongside one of 140 names in support of the GP application.

Nick Cooper, who runs Croasdales, said: “I was very impressed by the level of support. Moreton Hall deserves its own retail pharmacy.”