Plans to build a petrol station at Platts Roundabout, in Billingshurst, have been approved by Horsham District Council.
The hybrid application includes a shop, sandwich bar, car wash and motorcycle showroom, along with outline plans for 4,627 square metres of employment space.
Members of the planning committee heard arguments opposing and supporting the application. While some felt the site was perfect for a garage, others raised concerns about the impact on the environment, noise and road safety.
Philip Circus (Con, West Chiltington, Thakeham & Ashington) said he was worried about the safety of the entrance to the site given the speed of traffic in the area.
He said: “This is a 60mph stretch. It’s actually quite a sharp bend and, frankly, that concerns me. I don’t think the entrance is really something one would hold up as a model of safety from a highways point of view.”
The planning officer said a lot of thought had gone into the entrance to the site to get it right and pointed out that there had been no objections from the county’s highways team.
Other points raised by the committee were the decision to allow only two electric car charging points on the site when 16 were needed, and the loss of ‘view’ for people travelling into Billingshurt from Wisborough Green.
Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater North) supported the application.
She said: “I think it’s a good application in a convenient location and lends itself well to providing employment opportunities.”
She added: “It’s quite clear there is a shortage of employment space in this location for local businesses to expand.”
The committee agreed the application should be approved by the head of planning once a legal agreement to secure a road safety audit and highways works scheme had been sorted out.
They also agreed a covenant should be placed on the employment units, meaning they had to be offered to existing local businesses first.