Petrol wars have broken out in Angus ahead of a crucial vote on a new filling station.
The application by EG Group for a petrol station, retail unit, restaurant and drive-through at Forfar’s Orchardbank business park has been listed for determination by Angus Council’s development standards committee on August 7.
Stracathro Service Area owner Pat Melville-Evans has objected and claimed the application – which would be 13.5 miles away from her filling station – is against planning policy.
She also raised road safety concerns and claimed the petrol station would “result in an over-supply that would be detrimental to existing local services”.
In response, the applicant said the claims were “wholly unaccepted” and they would not consider opening a filling station where their target market was saturated.
The petrol station, retail unit, restaurant and drive-through proposal could bring up to 60 jobs to the area.
If successful, it would become one of the sites owned by Blackburn-headquartered independent forecourt retailer EG Group, which is seeking to increase its operations in Scotland.
A planning agent for Mrs Melville-Evans said: “Our client strongly objects to the planning application on the grounds that the petrol station element of the proposal is not in accordance with the land use requirements set out in local planning policy; and also raises concerns in relation to accessibility and road safety.
“Furthermore, the development of a petrol filling station at this location will result in an over-supply that would be detrimental to existing local services.
“A petrol filling station at the proposal site would therefore be an eighth petrol filling station within a 15-mile radius, and the fourth in Forfar, which all cater for the limited passing trade on the A90.
“It is considered that there is no locational justification for a petrol filling station at the site which would further dilute the local market for these facilities.”
The comprehensive application includes a 504sqm retail unit, a 224sqm drive through and coffee shop, and 66 parking bays, including two charging points for electric vehicles and eleven HGV bays, and four cycle stands, with EG Group arguing that the site represents an attractive location for a petrol forecourt.
Landscaping proposals around the site include extensive woodland planting, mounding to minimise visual intrusion and assist with noise issues, and high specification shrubs, trees and hedgerow planting in the vicinity of buildings and car parking areas.
An agent for EG Group said the proposals were in accordance with local planning policy and it was “simply not the case” that safety would be compromised.
“Over-supply of petrol filling stations is not considered a valid planning argument,” she said.
“As a commercial developer the applicant has chosen to seek permission to locate in this area.
“It stands to reason by the sizeable investment in the venture yo date that the applicant would not seek to locate in an area where their target market is saturated by way of an oversupply of petrol stations.
“This argument is therefore not accepted.”