A HIGH street chemist is set to be demolished to make way for student accommodation.

Boots has confirmed it will shut its branch in London Road, Brighton, on September 20.

The rundown building will be bulldozed and redeveloped.

Boots said: “Following a decision to develop the premises of our London Road Brighton store, and despite significant efforts by Boots, we have unfortunately been unable to confirm a new location for this store and it will therefore be closing on September 20.

“We understand this is difficult for the community and our customers and we remain committed to Brighton. Our nearby store on North Street will continue to support customers and give them the care and support they need.”

Local business owners voiced concern. Charlie Cap, 43, manager at London Road’s Sunbird Deli, said: “Any store closing is bad news for us. A big chain shop closing down is not a good sign. There will be difficult times ahead.

“We get customers coming in who have come to go to the chemist. Like other shops here, we’re going to lose business.”

Those in London Road also raised fears about the future of the Co-op, which shares the building with Boots. An employee said: “Nothing’s been confirmed yet.”

Anthony Alabaster, 39, assistant manager at the London Road branch of the British Red Cross, was worried about how Boots’ closure would affect the elderly.

He said: “They’re going to be really badly hit. With Boots here, they can get their medicine 30 seconds around the corner. But they’ll have to go to North Street now to pick up repeat prescriptions. It’s all well and good for those with bus passes, but for others it will be a nightmare.”

Brighton and Hove city councillor Clare Moonan, said: “I am appalled at Boots announcing the closure of their London Road store without any regard to the needs of the thousands of residents it serves.

“We will do everything we can to make sure our residents have access to the services they need and are not sold down the river by big corporations making heartless decisions behind closed doors.

“Decisions about allowing pharmacies to close can only be made by NHS England. The news of this closure is contrary to the advice we have received to date from them.

“We have no powers to stop Boots closing its store. But we do have a responsibility for making sure residents have access to the pharmaceutical support they need.”