Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Plans for a new petrol station in St Ives have been submitted for the third time in 10 years.
Anglia Regional Co-operative Society wants to build a garage on its Rainbow supermarket car park, in Constable Road – its planning permission, granted on appeal in 2010, runs out on January 26.
It is the second time the Co-op has not started work on the petrol station before its deadline. The firm applied to renew its planning permission in 2009 after the previous time limit from 2004 lapsed.
On both occasions, Huntingdonshire District Council refused permission but the decision was overturned on appeal.
Last time, residents started the campaign group Community Against Petrol Station (CAPS) and got 300 signatures against the plans, as well as the backing of Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly.
The group raised concerns about increased noise and traffic and worries that a reduction in parking spaces would result in customers parking in side streets.
Jean Eason, 63, of Arran Way, spearheaded the CAPS campaign.
This week she told The Hunts Post: “We only got the letter to tell us about the application this morning, and already we have had a number of calls about it, so I would imagine we will be campaigning again.
“We still have the same argument – it’s unnecessary and nobody wants it.
“It’s very irritating and unfair on the residents. The process will take about 12 months and for those 12 months everyone will have a lot of additional stress.”
Mrs Eason, who has lived in Arran Way since 1983, said: “A lot has changed since the last time they applied.
“The guided busway stops outside now and there is a lot more housing in St Ives, which brings them custom.
“The Co-op says the car park is under-used, but it is not under-used because people park there to get on the guided bus.
“Ramsey Road is dangerous enough, so if it is built the petrol station will add more traffic and a real chance of something nasty happening.”
The plans would create up to to five part-time jobs and reduce the 249-space car park by 93 spaces.
The eight-pump filling station would be open from 7am-11pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-5pm on Sunday.
There would also be a car wash and recycling centre.
An Anglia Co-op spokesman said: “Although the current planning application for a filling station in St Ives has not been implemented, we remain keen to have the opportunity to build a new filling station in the future when the market conditions and our investment plans permit.”