AN APPEAL against an NHS ruling which rejected a bid for a pharmacy for Aberlady has failed.

Plans by Dears Pharmacy for a pharmacy to be sited within Aberlady Post Office were turned down by Lothian Health Board in May.

The nearest pharmacy to Aberlady is in Gullane.

The decision notice then said that there were “no gaps in the existing provision of services within the neighbourhood as the other pharmacies in the area could provide the full range of pharmaceutical services”.

An appeal against the ruling, lodged by Gullane Area Community Council, which covers Aberlady, has now been rejected.

A letter sent to Tom Drysdale, community council chairman, by Lizzie McGeechan, primary care contracts manager at NHS Lothian, said: “The National Appeals Panel has decided that no valid ground of appeal has been made and therefore the appeal has not been upheld.”

A report from the appeal hearing by the Pharmacy Practices Committee (PPC) added: “As to adequacy of pharmaceutical services, the PPC felt that no gaps existed.

“They highlighted that there was no evidence of concern being raised about the adequacy of current pharmaceutical services and they expressed the view that the existing pharmacies had capacity to take on additional patients and could quite easily absorb any increase in demand.

“The PPC noted further that there was high level of car ownership in the area and that the public transport links from and to Aberlady were good and that parking available at the other pharmacies was good.

“That 107 new houses were being built in the area, it noted that the existing pharmacies would be able to cope with the increase in demand.

“The PPC also noted that the community council was unable to provide any evidence of concern from Aberlady residents about existing pharmaceutical services.”

The appeal against the decision was unanimously thrown out, with the report adding: “It was neither necessary nor desirable to grant the application.”

Gullane Area Community Council described the refusal as a “missed opportunity”.

“We need to ensure that villages such as ours maintain a critical mass of services in response to a growing population,” said the spokesman.

“Decision-makers need to take a broader, long-term view, rather than one which is governed by narrower professional interests.”