Fears over petrol sta­tion plan

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@reach­plc.com @jamie_lopez1

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.