Residents could help secure new pharmacy for Knaresborough

Chain Lane in Knaresborough, image obtained through Google Maps
Chain Lane in Knaresborough, image obtained through Google Maps

Residents in Knaresborough are being called on to voice their support for a new pharmacy, as an application is submitted to fill the gap left by the closure of Boots on Chain Lane.

Ascent Healthcare is attempting to establish a new branch in the town as it applies for a license from the NHS Resolutions Committee, whose duties include scrutinising the demand for such services.

If approved the pharmacy could be sited at one of the retail units on the corner of Chain Lane and Stockwell Lane.

Director for the company, Qammar Nazir, said the committee has now agreed to hold an oral hearing to establish this, adding that if residents are willing to show their approval it could improve the likelihood the plans will secure the go-ahead.

Mr Nazir said: "The process is not straight forward and we need the public support, they can write to us and we can then take those letters and put them directly to the committee.

"With Boots on Chain Lane in Knaresborough there were four pharmacies at the time, with it gone they lost a quarter of their services which will mean patients are travelling to other areas.

"With the application I would say there is a 50/50 chance as it is, and those are good odds.

"However the main thing to me is we need support for this to happen, without it this it will not be guaranteed. For this we need the community as a whole to back us."

The letters from residents will enable the committee to assess how the loss of Boots affected Knaresborough and what a new pharmacy could offer.

It is with this in mind that Mr Nazir added that those residents who write in should highlight how the closure has changed how they can access services.

Councillors across Knaresborough have been written to by Ascent Healthcare, requesting their support in the coming months to rally support behind the plans.

Mayor of Knaresborough, Coun David Goode, said he would be throwing his support behind the initiative.

Coun Goode said: "I will be writing in support of the license, the location is well suited and would be close to the old location of Boots.

"It will be a welcome addition to the town, along with the company's investment to the area and the services it could bring.

"There are isolated parts of the town in that area, with many elderly people who could benefit from this."

The company currently operate 22 stores across the country and are part of the Allied Pharmacy Group. The company say they are able to operate more independently than larger national chains. By raising their concerns in support of the plans residents would also be highlighting services for them target.

Mr Nazir said: "Because we are independent we are not restricted in what we can offer, plans for what we can offer can actually be tailored to the community and we will do this with Knaresborough."

The NHS Resolutions Committee is expected to carry out its hearing between the last weekend of August and the first weekend of September.

Residents can highlight how the closure of Boots affected their access to services by emailing or write to Ascent Heathcare Ltd, Midlands Office, Nabbs Pharmacy, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, NG15 6NT