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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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New £1.5 million Cockermouth service station gets the go-ahead

Work to build a £1.5 million service station on the outskirts of Cockermouth is due to begin in November.

Euro Garages wants to knock down the existing Oakhurst Service Station, off Lamplugh Road, close to the A66.

It won planning permission for the scheme from Allerdale council on Tuesday.

While work is going on, the firm has pledged that the service station will remain open.

It plans to create a new forecourt, pumps, underground tanks and a Spar convenience store complete with a Subway sandwich shop, cash machine, drive-through Starbucks coffee shop, car wash and parking.

The petrol station and shop would be a 24-hour operation. The cafe would be open between 7am and 11pm.

It is hoped it will be open by February and could create up to 60 jobs.

Allerdale council’s development panel approved the plans unanimously.

Councillor Len Davies said: “I think a positive aspect of this planning application is that it will create jobs.”

Despite fears that the scheme would harm town centre trade, planning officers said in a report to the panel that it would not.

The report said: “With regard to all the matters, the proposed development as a whole is considered acceptable, providing a strategically located service station facility without any significant impact upon town centre viability and vitality.”

Four letters of objection had been sent to the council and one in favour.

The site is near Oakhurst Garden Centre, which works with a local red squirrel preservation group, but Natural England had no objection to the proposal.

The council report said: “One objector suggests that the proposed development with coffee shop will undermine the cafe at the garden centre with the potential of business closure and subsequent impact upon the squirrel population.

“This argument is not considered to have any planning merits.”

Euro Garages Ltd bought 40 Esso garages, including the Cockermouth site, last year.

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