Protesters happy as chemist plan for 1840s Vernon Street, in Derby, is axed
DERBY Civic Society says it is delighted after plans for a pharmacy, which members feared would harm one of the city's "finest" streets, were rejected by the city council.
The authority has turned down an application from Khalil Akbar to move his chemist shop business from Friar Gate to a grade two listed building in Vernon Street.
The society, which works to look after the city's heritage, said the attractive street, filled with 1840s Regency housing, would have given the street an "entirely undesirable retail ambience".
The group's criticism was joined by three other objections, stating that there was no need for another chemist as the street has one already.
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Mr Akbar was unavailable to comment but his planning application states that he wanted to alter the premises so his business had improved parking for disabled people.
It states that Vernon Street is already "mixed use", with "offices, consulting rooms, a dispensing chemist and a fitness studio".
Civic society chairman David Ling said the pharmacy was planned for "a particularly sensitive area".
He said: "It would have been an intrusion on one of the city's best-quality residential streets."
A letter of objection from the society written by vice-president Maxwell Craven states: "The existing pharmacy was given consent solely as part of one of these premises and as such did not, as I recall, require consent, although it was considered as setting a poor precedent at the time. A further outlet of this nature would run the risk of endowing Vernon Street with an entirely undesirable retail ambience."
The letter adds that the pharmacy would inevitably lead to "issues relating to signage, internal alterations and shop window displays".
Mr Akbar's application states that his shop would be "low impact and not in anyway detrimental to the existing Vernon Street occupants or the street's ethos".
But council planning officers decided Mr Akbar had not "adequately demonstrated that proposed internal works would not be detrimental to the historic fabric of the listed building".
They added that a proposed access ramp would detract from "the historic interest" of the building.