Total garage in Stansted could be knocked down for houses

A PLAN to convert a well-used petrol station in Stansted Mountfitchet into housing will be fought by the parish council. An application has been submitted to Uttlesford District Council to demolish the Total garage on the B1383 Cambridge Road in place o

A PLAN to convert a "well-used" petrol station in Stansted Mountfitchet into housing will be fought by the parish council.

An application has been submitted to Uttlesford District Council to demolish the Total garage on the B1383 Cambridge Road in place of 14 two-bed properties with parking.

A unanimous decision was made by Stansted Parish Council to object to the development on the grounds that it was a viable business and widely used in the community.

Chairman of the parish council, Cllr Geoffrey Sell, said: "We are fortunate in the village to have two petrol stations and we would regret losing one of them to housing. They are on opposite sides on the road and the Total garage is well used by people travelling towards Newport.


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"Without the competition it could have an affect on the price of petrol available locally - the next nearest station is in Bishop's Stortford."

The developers have described the current look of the petrol station, which is close to the town centre and a conservation area, as "unsightly".

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The application states: "We are not intending to retain any of the existing structures and the proposed application comprises a comprehensive redevelopment of the site with the exception of the existing retaining wall which fronts Bentfield Road.

"This retaining wall is at the footpath edge and is in a good serviceable condition and would integrate with the intended scheme."

Concern was also raised by the parish council that the site was not suitable for housing as the area had been contaminated following a number of petrol leakages for which the garage has been fined.

The developers have argued that since the leakage steps have been taken to address the problem and they expect the Environment Agency to certify the site satisfactorily complete in early 2010.

Cllr Sell added: "Members raised various objections to this proposal and the clerk has received several comments from parishioners. Objections include the scale of the building, loss of a village amenity, sight lines from Bentfield Road and the lack of private amenity space for dwellings.

"Finally, the fact that the section of Cambridge Road is entirely commercial is acknowledged and there are other identified sites within the village where housing would be more appropriate."

Do think the loss of the petrol station will have a negative affect on Stansted Mountfitchet? Let us know at editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk.

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