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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Fire-hit Cockermouth service station will not be rebuilt

A Cockermouth service station which was destroyed by fire in February will not be rebuilt.

ts benns
ROBIN AND JULIE BENN: Thanked customers for all their support

Robin Benn, who runs P&R Benn Filling Station, known locally as Fairfield garage, said the forecourt shop and petrol station would not reopen.

The filling station, which Mr Benn ran with his wife Julie, became popular with locals not only as a garage but a meeting place.

He applied to Allerdale council in May to demolish the building and construct a new steel-framed structure, but said last night that those plans were now not financially viable.

It means that Cockermouth only has one petrol station left, at Oakhurst.

Mr Benn said: “It is not a decision we have taken lightly but with new legislation coming in, talks with Gulf, and the need for planning consent we have chosen to go in a new direction.

“We have plenty of memories here and are upset and disappointed that we have had to make the decision.

“There is the feeling we have let people down but we had to make our minds up, and if we did rebuild, it would not make enough money for it to be worthwhile.”

The fire, which ripped through the shop, forecourt, storage and workshop areas, was caused by a fault with a pressure washer which then mixed with some fuel.

Mr Benn has fully reopened his workshop on the site this week.

He had been celebrating his 30th year in business when the fire happened.

He added: “I want to thank the people of Cockermouth for staying loyal to us and we will welcome back all our customers as we are open as normal again now.

“It has been a very stressful seven months but I am just thankful that no one was hurt and that we are now getting back to some kind of normality.”

Mr Benn said he had ideas about what to do with the empty forecourt building but would decide on a course of action in the new year.

He will continue to run his workshop as normal.

Have your say

Sounds to me like they are just taking the keeping money.
Can't believe that we once had 5 petrol stations in Cockermouth, and now we have just one.
I think Sainsburys should buy Oakhurst (since the future there seems to be up in the air,a bit like the petrol prices)
if they did perhaps we might get cheaper petrol.

Posted by a cockermouth resident on 17 November 2013 at 11:20

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