Residents’ fears over drug and booze addicts

Darnall Health Centre
Darnall Health Centre
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CONTROVERSIAL plans to open a new pharmacy dispensing medication, methadone and needles to junkies in a residential area of Sheffield have attracted hundreds of objections.

Opponents say it would attract drug addicts and alcoholics to an area where ‘vulnerable elderly people’ live and result in a loss of trade.

Members of Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board will decide whether to approve the application by Darnall Health Centre, York Road, at a meeting today.

The proposal involves using some of the existing practice buildings as a pharmacy which would be open for 100 hours a week until 11pm from Mondays to Saturdays and 7pm on Sundays.

But 232 people have signed a petition and 23 objections have been made by individuals including local councillors and MP Clive Betts.

People who signed the petition claim the new pharmacy is within a residential area and would ‘adversely affect’ Darnall shopping area.

Opponents said: “Pharmacies are mainstays of shopping centres and if the existing pharmacies close, people stop visiting the shopping centre. The proposal will attract drug and alcohol addicts and as a result there will be increased crime and disruptive behaviour in a location where vulnerable elderly residents live close by.”

Residents are particularly concerned about use of the pharmacy as a needle exchange, open during weekday evenings.

They claim there are more suitable locations in non-residential areas.

Mr Betts said he was objecting due to the impact on existing chemists.

Planning officers have recommended the scheme is approved. In a report they said the pharmacy’s main access would be through the surgery.