Long serving Knaresborough pharmacy under threat of closure

There has been a pharmacy on the Chain Lane Co-op site since 1992.

There has been a pharmacy on the Chain Lane Co-op site since 1992.

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The future of a longstanding Knaresborough pharmacy is in jeopardy after a planning application to remain on the site has been refused.

The Boots pharmacy store currently stands on the same site at the Chain Lane Co-operative, but after the land was sold to global supermarket giant, Lidl, the Co-op closed down at the end of last year.

However despite the change of hands, the pharmacy stayed open and Boots applied for planning permission to set up two temporary cabins following an application by Lidl to build a new store in the place of the Co-op.

The application said the cabins would offer the same pharmacy service to the community for two years until a more permanent solution could be found with the new landowners.

But now the future of the pharmacy is in doubt after the planning committee at Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) refused permission alongside a unanimous objection to the application from Knaresborough Town Council (KTC).

Bill Rigby, Leader of KTC said: “It has got to be put in context. We have made several representations to Lidl about the importance of the facility to the community and it’s service in the

Co-op when it was there and we do think it is important that the service is retained for the local community and that is in the back of our minds.

“But we did not think the plans were sufficiently thought out for us to be confident in them.

“There is a lot of traffic and by dumping a couple of cabins there without any attention to it’s impact on traffic locality creates dangers.”

A final decision by HBC’s planning committee refused the application due to a lack of on-site parking and a potential increase in traffic which would create dangers for pedestrians and vehicles.

The application by Lidl to create a new and larger store on Chain Lane, which would replace the current Knaresborough Lidl on York Road, has not yet received a decision.

Boots are now in discussions with Lidl to find a solution which would allow the company to keep their services on the site.

Graham Burr, Lidl’s UK Regional Head of Property said: “We continue to work with Boots and although not part of Lidl’s proposals for a new store on Chain Lane, we are having ongoing dialogue with Boots, both directly and via our agents, to enable them to remain in the immediate locality.”

It is unclear how long the pharmacy has until it will lose but Boots say they would like to continue serving the community there.

A Boots UK Spokesperson said: “At Boots UK, we continually review our store locations to make sure they are where our customers need us most.”

We’re passionate about providing pharmacy services in the local communities that we serve, and would like to reassure our commitment to the care of customers and patients in Knaresborough.”