A MAJOR commercial redevelopment is being drawn up for a petrol station at one of the gateways into Lymington.
The plans are for the busy Shell garage at Pennington Cross, near the roundabout on the main A337 Milford Road in Pennington.
They have not yet been made public but have already led to the closure of the Thorp Motors operation which has traded next door for about 20 years.
Announcing the last day of trading at the site on Tuesday, Anthony Thorp (55) said the lease would not be renewed.
He told the A&T he was sworn to secrecy about proposals for the busy location, but said: “It will still sell fuel but what company it will be, who knows? That’s down to the family that own the property.”
The A&T understands the Shell petrol station’s lease on the site runs out in October. A company spokesperson would only say: “Shell Lymington continues to operate as usual.”
Mr Thorp, the son of the late town councillor Mike Thorp, admitted to having “mixed” feelings about the change.
But he promised to carry on the 50-year-plus business from his home despite “semi-retiring”.
He added: “I would like to thank all previous customers for your loyal support over the last 20 years and look forward to supplying you with your next vehicle.”
Cllr Andrew Gossage, who represents Pennington on New Forest District Council, said that if another car dealer did not take the place of Thorp Motors it should be used for a health centre.
He said: “Pennington has a lot of young families and older people for whom public transport or taxis are the only options, other than walking, to get into Lymington.
“A small NHS health facility located at Pennington Cross would provide the opportunity for local GPs, and other medical practitioners, to reach out into the community of Pennington.
“Pennington has an excellent pharmacy with a fantastic delivery service, Pennington should have the associated capability of GP, dental and other health services to complement it.”
An NFDC spokesperson said it was not aware of any emerging proposals to redevelop the site. But she added it would be acceptable in principle as it was within the built-up area of Lymington and Pennington.
The news follows plans being submitted to NFDC turn the current building of nearby car sales company Hills of Lymington, at 44 Milford Road, into a convenience store and takeaway.
A separate bid for a Burger King drive-through at the Esso petrol station in Totton was refused this week by NFDC over design and traffic concerns.
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