AN APPLICATION to build a third pharmacy in Tranent has been rejected.

The application was presented to the Pharmacy Practice Committee (PPC), which decided that the town was already suitably served by its current pharmacies.

The committee also stated that there was too long a wait between the Consultation Analyst Report (CAR) and the hearing as over a year had passed, which it felt rendered the findings out of date.

Representatives from the current Tranent pharmacies – Lloyds Pharmacy and Well Tranent, both on High Street – were present at the committee hearing and both claimed that they had already addressed any issues that were raised in the consultation and therefore problems raised by the CAR were no longer applicable.

There was also a question over whether the premises planned for the new pharmacy at 12 Bridge Street would be large enough to support the planned two consultation rooms and dispensary area, which the committee felt raised the issue of whether appropriate confidentiality was possible.

Letters of support for the pharmacy were submitted by Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council and ward councillor Kenny McLeod among others; however, the committee felt that none of these letters “specified needs which were currently not being met”.

Pharmacy applicant Niamh Morrison visited the community council to thank members for their support over the process and to assure them that she would be launching an appeal.

She said: “I am of course very disappointed.

“I really believe that this community needs this, and I have developed a real soft spot for the area.

“The appeal process unfortunately won’t be quick, it could take years.

“I just wanted to thank you all for the support that you have given us.”

The rejection comes not long after Tranent Medical Practice announced that it would be suspending advanced appointments due to a shortage of GP’s.

Robert McNeill, a member of the community council, said: “From a personal point of view, I’m very disappointed.

“Tranent surgery is not unique in its problems and the pharmacy could have added extra services within the community.”

David Forrest, chairman of the community council added with regards the letter that the group had drafted to support the application: “The letters that we wrote came from the heart, we really feel that this was what was best for our community.

“We are incredibly disappointed with the decision, and fully support Niamh in her appeal.

“We will be writing to our local MP and MSP to register our frustration at the situation.

“The decision is very short-sighted.”

The decision comes as planning permission in principle has been approved for 500 houses at Windygoul South, though the committee determined that both Lloyds and Well Tranent were able to increase capacity should “proposed housebuilding occur locally”.

Ward councillor Kenny McLeod said: “With the new houses on their way, the town will need extra pharmacies and more GPs.

“I’m so disappointed that the pharmacy has been rejected, I really think we need one.”