A long established filling station close to Chester Zoo is hoping for a mega makeover.
Moston Service Station is at a prominent position at the junction of the A41 and Liverpool Road in Upton. It would see a complete redevelopment if the borough’s planning committee agrees at a meeting on Tuesday (December 5).
For many years the filling station operated as a Texaco and was renowned for its then state of the art car wash in a tunnel.
Now run by Applegreen, it is looking to demolish the shop and car wash building and rebuild with a new shop with a cash machine, a new canopy, pumps, an air/water station and 14 parking spaces in the green belt location.
Access from both Liverpool Road and the A41 would be retained and there would be two concession units with hot food and drink on offer with inside and outside seating. Underground tanks would also be replaced.
The application has been called in to the committee by Upton councillor Jill Houlbrook (Con) who says neighbours are concerned.
Overdevelopment, increased traffic at the junction and noise and disturbance to residents are cited.
Nearby occupiers themselves have submitted two objections including increased traffic on ‘very busy’ roads, the adverse effect on the safety of pedestrians, concerns over fuel deliveries and increased air pollution.
They feel the new build would not be in keeping with the green belt or the locality and it would be out of character.
Parish councillors do not object but have asked that ‘the dangerous practice’ of the filling station being used as a short cut between Moston Road and Liverpool Road should be prevented.
Norfolk-based agents Merlango have told the council the building is time expired. Filling stations are having to deal with increased numbers of customers due to closures and to provide enhanced customer services including improved food offers.
The new shop, amenity and forecourt improvements will meet the needs of busy drivers while the ‘bright and spacious’ sales area will provide attractive surroundings for drivers wishing to take a break from the car.
The enhanced filling station will also help support the needs of the general public visiting the zoo.
The forecourt, with four pump islands, will be safer and congestion will be minimised.
Overall the building will be reduced from two storey to single storey and its size will reduce by over 50%.
Councillors will hear that petrol filling services are otherwise only available some distance away.
There would be no greater impact on the green belt and the new building would improve the character of the locality.
Planners also believe there would be no additional adverse effect on residential amenity.
The highways officer feels the new development, particularly due to the hot food and drinks on offer, may increase traffic but this would not be significant enough to have a severe effect.
Rat running across the forecourt would be unlikely to be at a level to justify refusal, they say.
The application is recommended for approval subject to 19 conditions.