Permissions for Lloyds pharmacy granted by district council

St Marys Surgery, Ely

St Marys Surgery, Ely - Credit: Archant

Fears that allowing Lloydspharmacy to relocate from Ely’s High Street into a nearby GP practice would cause traffic headaches for motorists were not enough to dissuade councillors from granting the company planning permission last night.

The planning committee of East Cambridgeshire District Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposal, which will see Lloyds move into the St Mary’s GP surgery, in St Mary’s Street.

Neighbours of the surgery, including Frank Readhead, addressed councillors in opposition to the plans, saying that the new Lloyds outlet would increase pressure on the already busy car park.

He said: “It has been acknowledged that the surgery car park is already under pressure with a narrow, bumpy access lane, which drivers dislike. If the development is permitted, the over-flow will park on nearby streets, with negative consequences for traffic and highway safety.

“The application ignores servicing and delivery requirements of the pharmacy on this busy major route for emergency vehicles from the city to the A10.”

Despite his pleas, however, and the initial reservations of some Ely-based councillors, the plans were passed almost unanimously, with only Ely councillor Jeremy Friend-Smith choosing to abstain.

The councillors were also address by Dr Deirdre McCormack, senior partner at the practice, who said that other GP practices in the area – including Staploe Medical Centre in Soham and Cathedral Medical Centre in Ely – also shared premises with Lloyds.

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Councillor Mike Rouse said: “There is no doubt that St Mary’s Street is busy, there are a number of new developments in the pipleline and it is almost as if we need a mini masterplan just for this area.

“However, I am persuaded by Dr McCormack’s argument that the pharmacy will add to the service that they give patients.”