A FOUR-YEAR battle to bring a pharmacy to Townhill has finally been remedied by its opening last weekend.

Repeated objections and appeals delayed the opening of the Loch Street premises by nearly three years after Mohammed Ameen was given the go-ahead originally for the business in September 2018.

Rival chemists in Dunfermline did not welcome the competition and tried three times to put a spanner in the works, despite strong support from local politicians and community representatives.

Mr Ameen, who has left his business in Ayrshire to focus on the Townhill pharmacy full-time, told the Press: "After a four-year application process with the health board we are thrilled to be opened and offer important pharmacy services to Townhill residents and the wider area.

"Since Friday's opening, we have received so many warm smiles and people coming in just to congratulate us. It's heartwarming to be honest.

"The pharmacy would not be here if weren't for the strong support shown by local residents by responding to the public consultation.

"Of course, I must thanks the elected councillors who all supported the proposal and Ronnie and Linda Cowan (local community council leaders) for not giving up on the campaign to get a pharmacy.

"Appeals by existing pharmacies knocked us back by a few years but that's behind us now and I encourage locals to pop into the pharmacy and register for getting their prescriptions collected by us from their GP surgery.

"We offer the Pharmacy First Service and a free delivery service as well."

Chair of Townhill Community Council, Ronnie Cowan, has backed the addition of a pharmacy for the village for several years, believing that the business would give local residents easier access to health care without having to go into Dunfermline.

He said: "This is a big deal for the area, not just Townhill, as it's near the Northern Link Road.

"Anyone going to the doctors would have to get two buses which takes up a lot of time and money so it's always been an inconvenience.

"Having a pharmacy that can prescribe now also means taking a load off the doctors so it's a huge benefit to the community."

All Townhill councillors wrote to NHS Fife to give their support through the consultation process.

Councillor Gavin Ellis added: "We forget that when the weather is bad, it's a struggle for the elderly to get down to Dunfermline from Townhill so it's definitely something that has been needed.

"It's good to see that it's finally opened; having facilities like a local shop and a pharmacy are all things that make up a community, so it's only positive.

"Mo has put in a lot of hours to get this right and I'm pleased to see that it's worked out."

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Dunfermline MSP, commented: "I'm delighted to hear that the pharmacy in Townhill has now opened up, which is a great success story for the local community.

"I wrote to NHS Fife in 2018 to express my support of the application and I'm glad to see a positive outcome has been achieved.

"Residents previously found it difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to travel into Dunfermline to access services and pick up prescriptions.

"People were also using their GP for minor conditions instead, which reduced appointment availability locally.

"A big well done to everyone who worked so hard to make this a reality and I'm very hopeful this pharmacy will bring benefits to the Townhill community for years to come."