GPs given go-ahead for pharmacy

A DOCTORS’ practice has been given permission to extend to create a pharmacy.

Sleaford Medical Group, on Boston Road, was given the go ahead at last Tuesday’s North Kesteven planning committee for the extended pharmacy, which will open during surgery hours and beyond, operating from 7am-10pm Monday-Saturday and 10am-8pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

It will provide two extra jobs and the layout of the car park is to be altered to accommodate five additional spaces.

The application was hotly debated for over an hour after receiving 25 letters of objection and two petitions amounting to 3,765 signatures concerned about potential noise disturbance, anti-social behaviour, traffic congestion, pedestrian safety and overdevelopment.

Councillors voted 13 in favour of the plans, six against, with one abstention, as it was argued that all concerns had been addressed, including action take against anti-social elements and flood lighting of the car park.

Highways officers felt that as the surgery was in the town centre there were plenty of nearby public car parks that patients and pharmacy visitors could use.

Principal objector was Saheet Gohil, whose family runs the neighbouring pharmacy at Clover House. He argued if the extension was for more doctors it could be justified and he was particularly concerned about parking congestion.

Town councillor Ken Fernandes raised the issue of chaos caused when delivery vehicles and mobile screening vans enter the car park and showed a video as an example.

Coun Geoff Hazelwood said it was not possible to have two-way traffic on the access drive, meaning drivers have to stop on the road to allow others out.

He added: “How highways and our officers can say that is a good exit beggars belief.

“What we are doing is putting a lot more cars into that and making it three times worse.”

Coun Keith Dolby added that the site was overdeveloped as the practice grew larger and many car park users had limited mobility to walk further.