Objections raised to plans for 24/7 rebuilt Richmond petrol station

Photo: Guy Carpenter.

Harvest Energy is facing calls to change its plans to replace its Richmond service station that was destroyed in a fire amid claims its proposal would impact on residents’ quality of life and the Georgian conservation area surrounding it.

Following widespread concerns being raised over Harvest Energy’s planning application for a significantly larger fuel station and a 24-hour convenience store at its site in Victoria Road, Richmond, planners look set to ask the firm if it would consider compromises to its proposals.

Ahead of the controversial proposals being considered by Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee the firm could also have to undertake a noise impact assessment.

However, many residents say they are keen to have a petrol station at the site which has been levelled since an electrical fault sparked a fire of such gravity last August that 50 firefighters were called in to tackle it.

With only one other small petrol station in the town, councillors say many trips are being made to fill up vehicles out of town, which is bad for Richmond’s economy.

In addition, Richmond councillors have concluded as there is a clear need to replace the petrol station and an absence of obvious alternative sites the filling station should remain on the site which is an unusual one for a service station in North Yorkshire given the properties surrounding it.

Planning documents submitted to the council state while a proposed 24-hour shop would create the equivalent of five full-time jobs at the site, the petrol station should be larger and incorporate parking spaces for the shop.

An environmental health officer has highlighted the shop and petrol station did not previously operate at night-time and the plan for 24-hour seven-day opening of both the shop and petrol station had “potential to have some adverse impact on nearby residential properties during the night in terms of noise associated with use of the facilities and also operation of the servicing activities”.

The officer wrote: “At this stage no information has been submitted to demonstrate that these activities will have a low impact on nearby residential properties.”

One couple wrote to the council stating: “We object most strongly to the proposal that the business should be a 24/7 operation. This is a residential area and the proposal would have a deleterious effect on the lives of the surrounding residents. Not only would there be shop customers throughout the night but also there is the potential for deliveries throughout the night. The disruption would be unacceptable.”

The plans have also attracted objections from Richmond Town Council and businesses, some of whom state that the new petrol station should not exceed the size of its predecessor and be more sympathetic to the surrounding Georgian conservation area, which features many listed properties.

In its objection, agents for a neighbouring business wrote the proposed building would be “dominant and over-bearing; it will draw the eye and will detract from the beautiful surroundings of the traditional Richmondshire market town. Its visual impact will not complement the surrounding architecture.”

“Our client estimates that the rebuild is up to four metres higher where it faces the workshop than was the original garage and there will be an almost total loss of natural light. The character of the conservation area will be diminished.”

2 Comments

  1. I would welcome the new plans and creating jobs with more shops closing down in the town..As for the deliveries can be made in the morning

  2. So many petrol stations are closing down all over the country so if this company wants to invest in rebuilding the petrol station, perhaps residents have to make some sacrifices. Were there any restrictions on opening times before the fire or were they free to open any time but simply chose not to open 24 hours? Most businesses don’t have any restrictions on the times they can open. The same applies for deliveries but as they will presumably be done by HGV and metal cages that make a lot of noise when moved, it would be reasonable to limited delivery times so residents are not disturbed at night.

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