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Co-op's plans split Community

17 June, 2010

More than 200 people turned up at a town council meeting in Lechlade, Gloucestershire, to hear Midcounties

Co-operative’s plans for a new petrol station on Station Road.

The site formerly housed a BP forecourt but that closed 12 years ago.

Opponents to Midcounties Co-op’s plans say the proposed store is too big and will affect other local businesses while those who approve say it will save them a five-mile round trip to refuel.

A spokesman for The Midcounties Co-operative said: “We are proposing to invest £2m to bring a derelict, eyesore site back into use as a petrol station and convenience store. This would serve the local community, create around 25 jobs and provide greater choice for consumers. The scheme has also been designed to the highest environmental standards.

“Since the petrol station on the site closed in the 1990s the land has remained unused and Lechlade has been without a petrol station. We propose a modern purpose built forecourt with a complementary convenience store. We want to improve the convenience offer for Lechlade and encourage more people to shop locally.

“As a member-owned ethical retailer we are proud of our co-operative values and our reputation for working for and with local communities.”

Lechlade town council voted to support the scheme but asked Cotswold District Council to pay particular attention to the following concerns: site access; traffic management; economic impact; retail mix and environmental management.