local authority refuses permission for new pharmacy after 1,500 people signed petition
By Alistair Beaton
North-east residents who launched a protest petition over plans for a village pharmacy, which they feared would lead to the closure of local doctors’ surgeries, yesterday welcomed a health authority veto on the scheme.
The Gourock-based group that applied for permission to open the pharmacy in a former butcher’s shop at Tarves confirmed an appeal has immediately been lodged over the Grampian NHS decision, however, and remained hopeful of opening the village premises within months.
“I am not particularly disappointed by this month’s refusal. I am quite confident that the national appeal panel will overturn it,” said TLC Pharmacy group director James Semple, who has opened eight pharmacies across the central belt in the past decade and applied to transform the vacant shop in Duthie Road.
He recently successfully appealed a similar initial rejection of permission to open a pharmacy at Leuchars in Fife.
“The Tarves application was something of a trial run, and I anticipated there could be a delay. I do remain very hopeful of having the pharmacy there up and running by midsummer as planned,” said Mr Semple.
Local residents opposed the development as a potential threat to the future of services provided to 5,000 patients by the Pitmedden-based Haddo Medical Group. Its older surgeries at Tarves and Methlick have been dispensing to patients since the NHS started in 1948, and the proposed new pharmacy scheme led to a 1,500 protest petition from local people.