Lincolnshire Co-op is planning to convert a former village newsagent shop into a pharmacy next to its food store in an investment valued at ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’.
The Co-op has applied for planning permission to convert the former Newsmart newsagents shop on High Street, Heckington, into a new pharmacy, neighbouring its existing food store.
The scheme involves partial demolition and conversion of the existing vacant dwelling and newsagent shop to form the new pharmacy and a flat above, demolition of the rear boundary wall to allow an extension of the existing car park and alterations to the car park access from the High Street.
If the scheme goes ahead, the current pharmacy further along High Street - which is already owned by the Co-op – would relocate into the new premises.
Spokesman for the Lincolnshire Co-op Emma Snedden said: “Our scheme aims to provide our customers and members with a much-improved pharmacy with benefits including a bigger consultation room and dispensary, plus better seating as well as a larger dispensing area.”
Ms Sneddon said: “The plan to move the pharmacy is subject to approval by NHS England as well as the local planning authority.
“A flat would also be created above the pharmacy.
“Investment in the scheme is likely to be hundreds of thousands of pounds.”
Access to the car park will also be altered. Ms Snedden said: “We are planning to widen the entrance to the food store car park and create a pedestrian footpath into it, making access easier for customers. This would be achieved by demolishing a side wall on the former newsagents’ building.
“We would also look to create an extra 16 car parking spaces on disused land at the back of the former newsagents’ property, which would be used by both food store and pharmacy customers. This would ease congestion and the need for roadside parking in the village. We’d retain and enhance landscaping on the perimeter of the site.”
If plans are given the go ahead, the new pharmacy would be built while trade continues out of the current pharmacy, minimising disruption.
The lease for the current pharmacy building would be passed back to the landlords.
Ms Snedden said a detailed schedule of works has not yet been drawn up due to not receiving planning permission yet so it is not known when work would begin: “The food store will be unaffected by the work and we’ll make sure as much car parking as possible is provided throughout the scheme,” she said.
There will be no changes to deliveries to the store as a result of the conversion as the food store itself is not expanding.