THE directors of a Widnes pharmacy facing demolition if plans are approved for flats have stressed there is no intention to close.

In an application published on Halton Council's website, the developer's agents described the Appleton Village Pharmacy as "somewhat unsightly" and said the proposed three-storey block of flats would represent a £4 million investment in Widnes.

The developer already has planning permission for a similar block behind the pharmacy, and intends this second block to "complement" those flats and create a "residential complex".

It was reported that the development would mean the loss of the pharmacy operating for around six years and is one of the few late-opening chemists in the area.

But the pharmacy's directors Paul Doherty and Martin Stratton say they have no plans to close, adding that it will be relocated to a new purpose-built site 'just metres away' from its original premises.

Mr Doherty told Runcorn & Widnes World: "We have no intention of closing our chemist which over the last six years has become an important part of Appleton Village.

"Any development of the buildings at the site will include an all new, purpose built chemist which will continue to serve the local community.

"It will be a flag ship pharmacy offering a brand new modern layout.

"We have also invited Appleton Village Doctor's surgery to join us in the redevelopment of this site, if accepted, this would keep the surgery in Appleton Village and benefit all local patients.

"We pride our pharmacy for opening extended hours and expert care of our most vulnerable patients. We also are one of the only few remaining pharmacies that deliver prescriptions free of charge.

"We, as directors, would never allow such an important asset to the local area to close in this manner.

"I hope this allays the fears of our regular patients and customers and I would like to advise them that if anyone wishes to discuss the matter further, I am on hand at the pharmacy Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 7am and 6pm to discuss the matter with them."

The planning application 19/00534/FUL can be viewed at - click on the planning applications banner which will take you to the search page.

It can also be seen electronically at the Runcorn Halton Direct Link at Rutland House Halton Lea, or Widnes Halton Direct Link at 7 Brook Street or any of the Council libraries.