A COUNCIL is opposing plans for a 24-hour fast-food drive-through at a town centre petrol station after initially recommending it for approval.
Euro Garages Ltd, which owns the Esso-run petrol station in Ringwood Road, Totton, applied to New Forest District Council to extend its building to incorporate a Burger King ‘food to go’ counter inside, as reported in the A&T.
It also wants to add a drive-through lane, which would be accessed from Maynard Road, with customers exiting on to Ringwood Road.
Although many applications are discussed by the council’s planning committee at its monthly meetings, some can be recommended for approval or refusal by the town’s planning officers if they are small in scale or no issues of concern are raised.
Chair of the planning committee, Cllr Caroline Rackham, explained to the A&T that a lack of information initially provided with the application meant that it was not submitted to the committee for its consideration.
It was then recommended for approval by one of the town’s planning officers.
Town clerk Derek Biggs also told the A&T: “It was not clear at first glance and it did not look controversial. It has now come to light that there are more implications than first thought.”
The council then added the item to the agenda of the following planning committee meeting last Wednesday.
The committee has now agreed to recommend the application be refused amid concerns about traffic, overdevelopment of the site, the number of existing food outlets in the town and the impact on public health.
The application has attracted 14 letters of objection from residents, with concerns also raised about potential littering, the impact on air quality and the close proximity to local infant and junior schools.
It promised six full and part-time jobs, adding: “The proposed development has been subject to careful consideration in order to ensure the application represents a suitable scheme in keeping with the site and its surroundings.
“Within the drive-thru lane there is sufficient space for vehicles to queue without backing up onto the access road serving Asda car park whilst there is also space past the serving hatch for customers to pull up if they need to.”
The application was due to be decided in September, but the district council is currently awaiting additional information it has requested from Euro Garages Ltd which operates more than 300 petrol filling station sites throughout the UK.
NFDC is scheduled to make a decision by 4th November after the deadline for public comments on 23rd October.