Chemists to introduce 24-hour ATM-style prescription machines

Dispensary firm Logan Gray Ltd has been given the go ahead despite safety concerns.

Chemists to introduce cash machine style prescriptions in Prestonpans and Longniddry iStock

New 24-hour automatic prescription machines will be installed in two chemist shops in East Lothian after they were granted planning approval despite concerns over safety.

Dispensary firm Logan Gray Ltd has been given the go ahead to put the giant cash-machine style devices on the outside of their pharmacies in Prestonpans and Longniddry.

However concerns were raised by one community council over a lack of CCTV and lighting at one of the shops.

The green dispensers are filled from the inside by the chemist with prescriptions for customers, who are then sent a pin code which they can put in any time day and night on a keypad outside the building to collect their medicine.

Longniddry Community Council did not object and welcomed the investment in the business but also raised concerns about the use of the dispenser at night pointing out the Links Road pharmacy was not on a well lit part of the street.

A report by planning officers said the community council had asked for extra lighting and CCTV in the area.

They said: “Extra lighting would enable members of the public to access the dispenser in a safer environment, especially taking into account that there is an unlit path at the opposite end of the building, where anyone with malicious intent could secrete themselves prior to committing an illegal act.”

Both planning applications received one objection each from a member of the public who did not like the colour of the machines.

On the plans to install the machine at Preston Links pharmacy in Prestonpans, the objector said it would add to the “already garish nature of the parade of shops”.

On the Longniddry application the objector said the colour was not in keeping with the area and questioned having a dispenser available 24 hours a day when it is in a residential area.

Planning officers said that the council’s senior environmental protection manager had no concerns about the impact of the new dispensers on nearby housing and ruled they could go ahead in their planned colour.

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