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Rejected! Banned from extending pharmacy into old cafe and barbers

Government inspectors have turned down a Bradford pharmacist’s request to expand a sandwich shop and barbers into a pharmacy, despite it trying to move premises “to help facilitate the Pharmacy First service”. 

The government’s Planning Inspectorate this month (May 7) turned down Blackstone Pharmacy’s request to extend a barbers and sandwich shop into a pharmacy, planning documents revealed.

The Bradford pharmacy planned to relocate from its current premises to the building, which currently houses the two commercial units next door to each other across a single storey.

But after the plans were originally turned down by Bradford city council, the Planning Inspectorate this month dismissed an appeal to change the “existing takeaway and barbers [into a] pharmacy with additional first floor and external alterations”, the documents said.

Inspector M Ollerenshaw said that the “main issue” with the proposals was that they would be “harmful to the character and appearance of the area”, according to the decision document.

The document said that the “design of the building is not characteristic of the existing traditional terraced properties nearby and would…appear contrived and awkward”.

It added that the proposal would also “adversely affect the living conditions of the neighbouring occupiers”.

However, the inspectors admitted that “the development would offer social and economic benefits in terms of providing a new pharmacy facility in an accessible location”, as well as making “efficient use of the site” and creating “employment opportunities”.


“We require this extra space”


Speaking to C+D last week (May 17), pharmacy owner Amjad Khan said that the plans to move would give Blackstone Pharmacy more space and access to “two consultation rooms for more services”.

Khan, who already owns both the sandwich shop and barbers' premises, said that he’s “been in this area for quite a while” and that the new location is only “under a one-minute walk” from the current pharmacy building.

“We've surveyed the local population…and they were happy for us to move” because the building is “closer to the [GP] surgery” and “more accessible”, he told C+D.

“At the moment, we're on a residential street…and we run next door to religious facilities so a lot of the time we don't have enough parking for local residents or it gets quite overcrowded,” he added.

He told C+D that with GPs being “underfunded and having less time to see common conditions”, the extensions would “help [Blackstone] facilitate the Pharmacy First service”.

“We do require this extra space,” he added.

He said that he has resubmitted the request to the council with amendments to the extension - as “the council only has an issue with [the building] extending upwards” - and is still hoping to move premises “in the next 18 months”.

In March, pharmacist Mohamed Fayyaz Haji shared his plans to offer dental and phlebotomy services in consultation rooms next door to his pharmacy with C+D.

He similarly cited NHS “struggles” when asked about his decision to expand. 

“There's a need for all these things,” he said, adding that “it doesn't have to be massive contract, just for the community that live here”.

Meanwhile, a council rejected a pharmacist’s planning application for new flashing pharmacy signage in December despite previously telling him to keep the signs switched off “at all times” or paint them “green”.

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