Outrage over ‘underhanded’ plans for East Wittering pharmacy

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PLANS for a third pharmacy in East Wittering, which would include a methadone clinic, have caused uproar as residents fear it could lead to rising crime levels in 
the area.

Protestors are anxious the proposed pharmacy, in the Witterings Health Centre, which would be open until 11pm, could lead to an increase in addicts visiting the area late at night.

Both of the existing pharmacies close at about 6.30pm.

One of the protesters, Chris Chapman, said he appreciated people need treatment.

“But they do commit crime,” he said. “I have spoken to Sussex Police and they don’t have a fixed base here. The police can’t be there 24/7.”

In addition, he said no one was consulted about the plans. “It’s not something we want and there have been 50 letters of complaint,” he added. “We think that it’s been quite underhanded.”

A spokesman for the Witterings Health Centre said: “We can assure our patients, and people in the Witterings, that our priority is providing the best possible health services to our patients and the local community.

“One of our options is to open a pharmacy in the building.”

He added the plans have been discussed with the pharmacies currently operating in the area.

“It is important to make it clear no decision has been made, and at this stage we are considering all of the options available to us.”

Members of East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council also roundly opposed the plans in a meeting on Monday.

Cllr Basil Lambert said: “I object strongly to the idea of the medical centre having a pharmacy at all.

“We have two excellent pharmacies within a hundred yards of the medical centre.”