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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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£1.5m new service station plans set to get go ahead

Plans for a £1.5 million service station in Cockermouth which could create up to 60 jobs are on course to be approved despite fears it could adversely hit other businesses and threaten red squirrel numbers.

Oakhurst station photo
The existing Oakhurst station

Related: New filling station, shop and cafe would turn Cockermouth into ghost town - claim

Planning officers at Allerdale Council are recommending that Euro Garages Ltd’s proposals be backed by members of the development panel when they meet in Workington on Tuesday.

Euro Garages wants to knock down the Oakhurst Service Station on the outskirts of the town and replace it with a new forecourt, pumps, underground tanks and a convenience store complete with a Subway sandwich shop, an ATM, a Starbucks, three car washes and parking.

The petrol station and shop would be a 24-hour operation. The cafe would be open between 7am and 11pm.

A report tabled for councillors states: “The proposals are aimed at providing a self-contained service station with facilities to serve the traffic of the A66 trunk road and local commuters.”

The plans for the Oakhurst site off Lamplugh Road have been met with a mixed reaction but planning officers state that the development will not harm town centre trade, despite fears from some locals.

The site is 40 metres from the Oakhurst Garden Centre, which works with a local red squirrel preservation group.

“One objector suggests that the proposed development with coffee shop will undermine the cafe at the garden centre with the potential of business closure and subsequent impact upon the squirrel population. This argument is not considered to have any planning merits,” the development panel report states.

Natural England has no objection to the proposals.

There have also been lengthy consultations with Cumbria County Council as the highways authority and the Highways Agency.

The report concludes: “With regard to all the matters, the proposed development as a whole is considered acceptable providing a strategically located service station facility without any significant impact upon town centre viability and vitality.

“The proposed buildings are well designed, incorporating traditional materials and detailing.”

Euro Garages Ltd bought 40 Esso garages, including the Cockermouth site, last year.

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