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Thamesmead chemist Brownes in Tavy Bridge will disappear without new home
A THAMESMEAD chemist will disappear unless it can find new premises before the end of the month.
Brownes in Tavy Bridge is part of a parade of shops set to close on September 28 as owners Gallions housing association redevelops the complex, now re-named Southmere Village.
A national Department of Health directive means pharmacies have to relocate within 500m of their original site and Brownes has not been able to find anywhere close enough after being told in October last year they would be evicted.
Linda Major, 60, works at Brownes and is in fear of losing her job as the four other premises operated by the business are fully staffed.
She said: "We have been trying to fight for a place but Gallions just won't help us at all.
"We have even been asking for a temporary building. We don't mind where we go because people need us."
Pensioner Mary Matthews, 66, of Hartslock Drive, uses Brownes at least once a month and fears for other elderly and more regular users who she says depend on it.
She said: "They really, desperately need to find somewhere for the chemist because it is a worry for everybody. Surely they can think up somewhere for them."
A petition to save Brownes and the other shops in the parade, including an off licence and a Costcutters, was handed to Gallions in February with around 500 signatures.
There remains a chance the business could operate from a mobile van provided by Bexley Accessible Transport Service, though this is subject to approval by the General Pharmaceutical Council.
A spokeswoman from Gallions said: "We have worked closely over a long period of time with shopkeepers and where possible have tried to assist in finding alternative premises.
"We are continuing to work with shopkeepers to help them find alternative units where possible.
"In addition we are working with vulnerable residents to ensure that they continue to receive essential services.
"As part of this, we have teamed up with BATS and are meeting with vulnerable residents throughout September to explore ways in which they may be able to benefit from using the service.
"The regeneration of the Southmere Village is now in its third phase and, once completed, will transform the area."
A spokesman for NHS South East London said: "We are currently looking at an application for the pharmacy to relocate to new premises as the current site is due to be redeveloped.
"Our priority is ensuring that local patients continue to have easy access to a pharmacy."