A long-awaited pharmacy is to open its doors in Inverness today ending more than 20 months of planning disputes.
The new Dalneigh Pharmacy, which has been highly sought in the community, will operate from the site of a former post office in the area’s Laurel Avenue.
The facility has had a long development period with the operating company first applying to open in January 2015.
NHS Highland originally granted the application, but rival firm Lloyds Pharmacy submitted an appeal and the decision was overturned by the NHS National Appeals Panel.
However, the NHS Highland pharmacy practices committee (PPC) once again gave their backing in a revised decision earlier this year.
Lloyds then confirmed they would not make a further appeal, paving the way for today’s opening.
James Higgins of Dalneigh Pharmacy said: “We are delighted to announce that we plan to open our new pharmacy in Dalneigh.
“I want to thank the local community for their support during this process and we look forward to delivering high-quality pharmaceutical services in the area.
“The new pharmacy will service the community with the dispensing of medicines alongside delivering core services such as offering advice and information on health issues and providing patients with up to one prescribing cycle of their repeat medicines during out of hours.”
Inverness West councillor Alex Graham welcomed the opening, having backed the proposal throughout its difficult gestation.
He said: “The Dalneigh community has large numbers of young families and older people who will especially benefit from a pharmacy in the heart of the housing estate.
“Until now people in Dalneigh had to travel to a pharmacy, and having these services available locally will be good for the area.
“It has taken far too long – 573 days from application to opening – and the process for pharmacy applications now needs a full and thorough review.”
SNP councillor Richard Laird added: “This process has taken far too long but it is excellent news that the finishing line is finally in sight.
“This is much needed and I have no doubt it will be a valuable community healthcare facility for Dalneigh.”