An application for a new petrol station in an Angus town was approved on Tuesday, despite objections from a potential rival.
The EG Group plans to construct a petrol station, retail unit, restaurant, drive-through and HGV parking next to Angus Council’s headquarters in Forfar.
Councillors were told the development could create up to 60 jobs in the town.
The proposal had been opposed by Stracathro Service Area owner Pat Melville-Evans, who argued it was against planning policy.
However, planning officers argued the development plan deemed the site suitable for a range of uses including roadside services and said the scheme would be “a new, improved facility” for the location.
The design and substantial glass frontage of the 5,000 square metre petrol station and retail outlet were said to be “reasonably attractive” in the context of what currently exists at the Orchardbank site.
Officers added that overall, the proposal complied with development plan policies.
Roadside trees and a boundary beech hedge will be retained and new woodland and hedgerows will be planted. Mounding will also be created to combat potential noise issues.
The application was recommended for approval by officers, but a number of councillors on the development standards committee raised concerns about a reduction of nearby on-street parking as a result of increased HGV traffic, and the access route into the site.
Arbroath East and Lunan SNP councillor Brenda Durno spoke in favour of the application, saying: “As someone who spent 20 years on the road as a sales rep, I really welcome this because people out on the road need a tremendous amount of roadside facilities.”
Arbroath West and Letham Liberal Democrat councillor Richard Moore asked if the council had a policy on over provision of petrol stations in the county, but was informed that this was not a material consideration in the planning process.
Development standards convener, Conservative councillor David Lumgair, moved the conditional approval of the application, which was agreed unanimously.
Tom Jeremiah, group planning director at EG Group welcomed the decision.
“We are delighted Angus Council’s development standards committee could see the benefits this development will bring to the area,” he said.
“Not only will it create 60 jobs directly, the scheme will also contribute to the vibrancy of Orchardbank Business Park, attracting new occupiers and helping to stimulate economic growth.
“Job creation has always been a central aspect of our business model, and we want to ensure that our business delivers positive economic benefits to communities and that starts with employing local people across all our sites.”