WORK has began on a controversial service station for West Cumbria which is set to bring 75 jobs to the area.

Dump trucks and workers have moved onto the site of the former Woodlands Residential Care Home at Distington.

The build will see a Euro Garages service station with a drive-through cafe, restaurant and filling station.

Winscales Parish Council, Workington Town Council and Copeland Borough Council objected to the plans when they were originally lodged.

Letters of objection by members of the public were also submitted expressing concerns about road safety, congestion, as well as the social impact of fast food restaurants near schools and colleges. There was also fears that emergency services could be delayed, as the site sits next to Distington Ambulance Station.

Distington resident Jackie Bowman said: “I use that road near to the roundabout quite a lot and the traffic there is horrendous to start with.

She said: “To have more traffic coming out of a petrol station-come-supermarket is totally irresponsible. Distington Parish Council weren’t consulted and we are immediately next door to it.

“People have spoken to me on the street and asked ‘how is that going forward?’”

A spokesman for Workington Town Council said: “We are disappointed that many of the valid points raised when planning consent was sought, were not subsequently addressed.

“It remains the council’s position that developments of this nature should be considered in the context of healthy streets and healthy diets, areas of considerable concern not just to the town council but to the other other authorities who are dealing with the application and subsequent development.”

The spokesman added: “The council feels ill-served by a planning process that is unable to address these concerns in any meaningful way.”