Plans for a petrol station and convenience store next to the A264 Faygate roundabout will go ahead unless highways officers have any safety concerns.
The application for a 24-hour, four-pump BP station with seven electric car charging points was discussed by Horsham District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday night.
While almost all councillors accepted there was a need for one, many felt the location was wrong, questioning the safety of traffic leaving and entering the busy dual carriageway.
The council received 14 letters supporting the plans and 15 objections – with safety, noise, and light pollution high on the list of concerns.
Some Faygate residents were also not happy with the idea of a convenience store, saying it would be detrimental to local businesses.
One speaker, Elaine Anderson-Wright said: “The economic benefit here is purely to BP.”
On the issue of safety, she added: “The A264 has been described as a rural dual carriageway, which implies that there is a lower level of traffic than on a major trunk road.
“In truth, the A264 on this stretch is really incredibly busy, with a speed limit of 70mph, the same as a motorway.
“This roundabout is already difficult to navigate for cars and almost impossible for pedestrians. I don’t understand how it can be concluded that adding this petrol station on this roundabout would not create more road safety issues.”
Other residents, however, said they were happy with the scheme.
One, from Poplar Court, wrote: “This would be a great asset to our village and hopefully the fuel costs would not be as high as the Pease Pottage services, which are as per motorways.
“With all the proposed new housing and existing Kilnwood Vale it would fill a gap for all of us.”
But the issue of safety was not one councillors were willing to dismiss out of hand.
Members agreed to delegate the matter to the head of development, who would join local councillors to discuss it with the West Sussex highways team and approve the application if no more concerns were raised.
If concerns are raised, it will be returned to the planning committee.