Villagers fear that proposed new pharmacy would attract ‘undesirables’

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RESIDENTS fear a bid to build a new pharmacy in a West Yorkshire village could attract drug addicts to the area.

Rowlands Pharmacy wants to construct the new facility at Wilsden Medical Centre, Wilsden, Bingley, but residents are concerned the pharmacy could offer a supervised methadone consumption facility and needle exchange programme which they claim would attract “undesirables” from outside the village, lead to crime and put them in danger.

Bradford Council has received 31 objections to the plan and one letter of support from Wilsden Medical Centre. The local authority’s Area Planning Panel for Keighley and Shipley will be advised to back the proposal when it meets on Wednesday.

Rowlands declined to comment on whether a methadone consumption facility would be part of the services.

But a report to be considered by the panel says that there has been no official clarification on whether the applicant proposes such a facility or would want to include it in the future.

The report says: “If such a facility was provided it would be just a part of the wider range of pharmacy services provided. The pharmacy would not operate exclusively for this purpose 
and fears that such a facility would attract anti-social activity or 
‘undesirable’ people from outside the village cannot be substantiated.”

The medical centre practice writes that “a shared site may enhance the co-ordination of services between the pharmacists and their practice and it is perceived that the development may be of direct benefit to some of their patients”.

But both Wilsden Parish Council and Harden Parish Council have objected to the proposal.

Wilsden Parish Council claims the proposed pharmacy is inaccessible by public transport and that existing pharmacies within the village centres of Wilsden and Harden serve people’s needs. Harden Parish Council believes it would have an adverse effect on facilities in the area.