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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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

Cockermouth will be turned into a ghost town if a £1.5 million filling station is built, objectors against the development have claimed.

Oakhurst photo
The existing Oakhurst petrol station

Related: Plans submitted for £1.5m filling station, coffee shop and store

A new service station, complete with a drive-through coffee shop and convenience store with a Subway restaurant, plus three car washes, is on the cards to replace the Oakhurst filling station off the A66 roundabout on the edge of town.

Blackburn firm Euro Garages Ltd, which is behind the scheme, said the revamp would create up to 60 jobs. But people have been lodging their opinions with Allerdale Council during a consultation, which ends this week.

Nanette Dolderson, of Oakhurst Lodge on Lamplugh Road, said she was “seriously worried” about the development which she feared would cause traffic congestion and attract ‘boy racers’.

“Cockermouth has a reputation for local, individual sole traders which gives it the name for being a gem town,” she said.

“Local traders have already faced hard times of late between the floods, the recession and Main Street roadworks, they do not need this added competition.”

Cheryl Quine, from Mockerkin, claimed Cockermouth would be turned into a ghost town if the development goes ahead.

“I would of thought that town centres are struggling enough without applications such as this encouraging business to drive past a town centre rather than drive into it,” she added.

This is the second time that the application has been submitted, as the first, lodged last year was withdrawn for changes to be made.

At the time, the original plan caused an outcry among some town traders and residents, with residents and businesses fearing it would stop people going into the town.

Jonty Chippendale, the former chairman of the town’s Chamber of Trade, said he believed the convenience store could be “detrimental to the town centre”.

A spokesman for the Blackburn firm said that the development could start “later this year” if planning permission was granted.

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