Swan Surgery in Bury St Edmunds may appeal pharmacy refusal

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The practice manager at a GP surgery, refused planning permission after drugs and crime fears, is considering whether to appeal.

Councillors at St Edmundsbury Borough Council refused the pharmacy plans for the Swan Surgery in Bury St Edmunds, after a objectors said it would lead to a needle exchange service and attract ‘undesirables to the area to trade drugs for methadone’.

Rachel Helliar, practice manager, when asked if she would appeal the decision said: “We were very disappointed with the outcome.

“We will wait until St Edmundsbury Borough Council contact us formally with the reasons for the refusal.”

The refusal for the surgery at the Northgate Business Park went against the planning officer’s recommendation.

The surgery had said a monitored dose scheme and needle exchange would not be introduced from the outset – and there would be a public consultation if it ever wanted to bring in the service.

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

The application led to petitions both for and against the pharmacy, wth objectors outnumbering supporters by 336 to 201.