PLANS to demolish and redevelop a Chester service station site have finally been given formal permission.
In July 2021, the Cheshire West and Chester Council Planning Committee voted in favor of Moston’s proposed service station on Liverpool Road.
The planning application, submitted in 2020 by the Petrogas Group, proposed to demolish the existing service station with the removal of all buildings, forecourt pumps, canopy and underground tanks and piping.
As part of plans, a new single-story sales building – including a drive-thru and an ATM – will be constructed with four pump islands and a canopy, two underground tanks, a gasoline interceptor, drainage containment and an electric vehicle charging bay. .
There would also be 10 parking spaces created on the redeveloped site.
Although no operator has yet been confirmed for the drive-thru, it is likely to provide coffee and prepared meals and not offer fast food service.
A condition prohibits the manufacture or preparation of hot food on site.
However, concerns were raised by the Environment Agency about the risk of contamination during construction work, as the site was close to a watercourse which drains into Chester Zoo.
A subsequent assessment of the application, in response to Environment Agency concerns, concluded: “Effective management systems will be in place to identify any potential breaches in the system and engineering controls will reduce the risk of uncontrolled losses. in the aquatic environment.
“We consider this demonstrates adequate risk mitigation, in line with EA guidelines.”
In response, the EA said it had withdrawn its objection, but would recommend adding a planning condition requiring the submission of a remediation strategy, to address the risks associated with contamination. of the site regarding development.
The EA said such a strategy would not lead to the risk of “unacceptable levels of water pollution”.
Under these conditions, Cheshire West and Chester Council have since 7 July 2022 formally granted planning permission for the redevelopment.
The proposals had been recommended for approval ahead of the July 2021 board planning meeting.
A number of objections had been made to the proposed development by neighboring residents.
Among a number of issues raised were concerns about increased traffic levels having a negative impact on the safety of the surrounding road network, particularly in relation to the potential for queues on the A41 and the site being used as a ‘cut’ between Moston Road and Liverpool Road.
Councilor Jill Houlbrook, who presented the request to the planning committee, addressed the membership to voice her opposition to the proposals and request the denial.
She said: “As a member of the ward, I would like to thank the residents for their comprehensive summary of objections. Increased traffic would have a negative impact on the green belt. This cannot be considered sustainable.
“Authorizing a development to increase the use of the car and in the green belt seems to me extremely contradictory and perverse.”
Councilors Norman Wright and Myles Hogg raised points about queuing traffic potentially impacting the road network due to drive-thrus and whether there was a way to ensure this would not happen.
Lead development manager Paul Parry responded by saying he could never issue a guarantee, but did not believe this would create significant issues beyond what is already known in the region.
He told the meeting that two to three minutes is “pretty typical” in terms of wait times for the type of drive-thru installation.
“Could the drive-thru cope with the expected increase? It can,” said Mr Parry, who added that the layout had been changed to accommodate the increase in vehicles.
The triangular site currently comprises a forecourt with a canopy and a total of eight pumps, and a partly single, partly two-storey building with store and concession areas to the front, and workshops to the rear.
There is a redundant car wash located at the side of the building and a functional car wash at the rear.
Planning permission was granted in December 2017 for demolition of existing buildings, canopy and removal of fuel tanks and construction of replacement facilities, but was never implemented and has since expired .