A Penryn supermarket’s attempts to open a controversial pharmacy counter prompted a “flood of calls” to Cornwall Council last week.

Asda, on Jennings Road, was refused planning permission for a pharmacy facility by the council last month after planners decided that allowing one to open would have too great an impact on the town centre.

The supermarket is appealing the decision but in the meantime has opened a portable building, which serves as a dispensing chemist, in its car park.

Penryn town clerk Michelle Davey said the move had prompted a flood of calls to Cornwall Council’s planning enforcement office who sent out officers to investigate.

The council confirmed its enforcement department is looking into the matter.

Asda was granted a licence to have a pharmacy open for at least 100 hours a week by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust earlier this year, but a planning condition imposed by Cornwall Council bans it from having any such facility.

A so-called “use it or lose it” clause in the licence means that Asda had to start serving pharmacy customers before Sunday or the licence would expire. An Asda spokesperson said the store had a full pharmacy licence and customers were keen to start using the service. “We have opened the pharmacy while we are waiting for the outcome of our planning appeal,” he said.

Asda claims the facility will be “more convenient for Penryn and Falmouth customers who currently have to travel to a pharmacy in working hours.”

  • Meanwhile, Falmouth Health Centre on Trescobeas Road has been granted permission to have a 100-hour licence from March.