Sunday 20 October 2019

Service station refused planning on appeal

David Looby

An Applegreen service station planned for just outside New Ross has been refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanala.

The planning inspector found that by reason of the scale, range of uses and location at a remove from the settlement, the proposed development would have an adverse impact on the viability and vitality of New Ross and would therefore be contrary to the Ministerial Guidelines and contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Planning permission was sought from Wexford County Council in May of last year for a petrol filling service station, including a drive thru to be located off the New Ross Bypass in Arnestown.

The proposed development by Petrogas Group Ltd (which run Applegreen service stations across the country) included the provision of four pump islands

covered by a canopy, one pump for high goods vehicles (with canopy over), an offset fuel fills area, underground fuel storage tanks, a shop building of 600 sqm (including an off licence, food offers, ancillary service areas and drive-thru), seating, an external play area; car, hgv and coach parking, bicycle spaces, car wash, signage, landscaping and all associated development works.

The planning permission was sought on May 8 and refused on July 2.

Petrogas Group Ltd appealed the decision on July 30 and were refused by an inspector from an Bord Pleanala on January 25.

The board decided to refuse permission, generally in accordance with the Inspector's recommendation, for the following reasons and considerations.

It was considered that the proposed development would endanger public safety by reason of being a traffic hazard because the site accesses onto a local road which in turn accesses onto a national primary route where the speed limit of 100kph applies and the traffic turning movements generated by the development would interfere with the safety and free flow of traffic on the public road. The proposed development would also contravene the objectives of the planning authority (which are considered reasonable) as set out in Section 8.6.1 of the Wexford County Development Plan, 2013 - 2019, to preserve the level of service and carrying capacity of the National Primary Road and to protect the public investment in the road.

'The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area.'

The proposed service station was also deemed to be in contravention of the 'Spatial Planning and National Road' Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2012) which address service areas and in particular roadside service facilities at non-Motorway National Roads.

The guidelines state that a proliferation of service area facilities along rural sections of national roads and/or associated junctions, where the maximum speed limit applies, would create significant safety risks and affect the level of service available to road users, as well as impact on the viability and vitality of existing urban settlements.

'The guidelines advise that sufficient roadside facilities exist on the non-motorway national road network which passes through a significant number of urban towns and villages where such facilities can be provided for in a sustainable manner.'

New Ross Standard