Fears over petrol station plan
THE decision on plans to demolish a pub and build a petrol station and drive through cafe next to the Formby Bypass has been put back.
A proposal to demolish the now vacant Weld Blundell Arms pub, in Ince Blundell, was put before Sefton’s planning committee last week.
But councillors deferred making a decision with questions still to be answered over the design of the new facility and its safe access.
Developer Eurogarages wants to build the new facility after a buyer for the pub could not be found, despite it being listed for sale for 18 months.
Despite enjoying a prominent location, sales at the pub have declined in recent years and its future was no longer seen as viable.
A planning officer’s report had recommended approving the plan, but the committee decided that the application was not yet ready to be passed.
Tom Jennings, whose grandmother lives close to the site, spoke passionately against the proposal, arguing it would cause significant problems to residents who had lived near the site for decades.
He also questioned whether such a facility was even needed, with two other petrol stations within a few minutes’ drive, and the safety of locating a station at such a busy junction which has previously experienced a fatal crash.
He said: “This is not just a case of ‘not in my back yard,’ and we recognise change is a good thing. But there is a difference between a pub and a filling station and 24-hour shop causing so much nuisance with noise and pollution.
“It would not appear that the station is even needed.”
Emily Robinson, speaking on behalf of Eurogarages, said that the design of the new facility had been extensively discussed with planning officers and modified as a result.
She also stated that the station would not operate 24 hours a day, instead opening 6am-10pm, and argued it would generate little extra traffic with its trade coming from those already passing.
Cllr Michael O’Brien, the committee’s vice-chair, spoke angrily against the plan, slamming the design as “ugly” and saying it is not suitable for the area.
He initially called for the application to be rejected, only to change that to asking for it to be deferred, pending discussions over the design and the safety of access for the travelling from Ince Blundell village.
The committee voted in favour of the proposal to defer, meaning council officers will now enter further discussions with the developer to improve the proposal.
A decision on plans to demolish the Weld Blundell Arms and replace it with a petrol station have been put back
The EG Group was responsible for the building of the Five Barred Gate service station in Preston