55 comments have been received from Spaldwick residents – with 57 (89%) objecting to the proposals and five (8%) supporting the proposals.
To comment on the proposals, you will need to register on the Huntingdonshire District Council site and go to the following page:
Below are the notes produced by Steve Fane de Salis (Chairman of the Spaldwick Parish Council) from the second public meeting held by Applegreen. For information on the first public meeting, visit the following page:
Meeting at Community Room, Spaldwick Primary School, Monday 16 November 2015 at 1930
The Managing Director of Petrogas Group UK, Michael O’Loughlin, opened the meeting by stating that they had listened to comments made during the presentation of the proposal to redevelop Spaldwick Service Station two weeks previously and would endeavour to answer these questions. He stated that the issue of changes to the slip road back onto the A14 was a Council matter, although Applegreen would be happy to assist with funding if the Council required it. He further stated that there would be no debate regarding litter walks or traffic, saying that a Traffic Impact Survey would be carried out as part of the planning process.
The proposal remains generally the same as put forward two weeks before.
Shelley Cotton, a Marketing Executive employed by Applegreen, then addressed various questions which had been forwarded to them:
1. What are their budgeted transactions? Rising from 2800 to 7500-8000 per week.
2. Concerns regarding traffic/speeding. They will place signage at the exit to encourage traffic to turn left onto the A14; there will be no signage eastbound. Currently 86% of customers buy fuel only; the average is 48%. A condition of the planning application will be to produce a Transport Statement. They would support Dragons Teeth painted on the road surface.
3. Safe path for pedestrians. If permission granted to do this they are willing to help.
4. Store opening hours? 0600-2300hrs. Outside these hours, the doors will be locked and a night hatch will be in use. Food offers will close around 2000hrs with the coffee shop closing earlier, perhaps 1800-1900hrs. Current alcohol licence is 24hr.
5. A14 slip road improvements? This is outside the site so not their responsibility. If, after a Transport Study, Highways England require them to give up a slither of land, then they are happy to assist.
6. What trees will be left in place? All the trees are outside the site so they cannot take any of them out.
7. Litter. There are already daily litter picks and they can increase the checks they carry out. In any case, the food offers are mainly for sit down meals.
8. What size will the convenience store be? About the size of the Community Room – approximately 4000 square feet. It will stock whatever is needed, from groceries to essentials, from the range available from Londis.
9. Measures to limit HGVs. There will be no facility for HGVs, although they cannot physically stop them. They will display a standard sign showing ‘No HGVs’. Applegreen will not accept fuel cards.
10. Provision for electric cars. They are looking into the possibility, although this is not at any other sites.
11. Improve Village Play Area. They work closely with communities and they might look into sponsoring a piece of play equipment.
12. Offsite maintenance of grass area. If it is outside the site they would not cut grass as it is not their responsibility; they might look at helping with the cost by way of a contribution.
13. Provision of a cycle rack? Yes.
14. Possibility of a Post Office Counter. Not something they would consider; although they could sell stamps and agreed to allow the Mobile Post Office to park in the car park.
Michael O’Loughlin then addressed the meeting, giving a potted history of Applegreen. He again guaranteed that there would not be a Burger King at Spaldwick Service Station.
He went on to say that Plan B would be to reinstate the current building (same size as existing) with a Subway and convenience store, fit new fuel pumps and continue to cater to HGVs. The Petroleum Officer has granted them permission for the temporary building which they are using as the counter; but this period of grace is only until they redevelop the site.
When asked about HGV overnight parking he stated there were no restrictions in place.
Asked to expand on the expected daily transactions, he said that it could rise to 10,000 per week. There are currently 42 cars per hour for 16 hours a day using the Service Station; this could double.
When asked about the expected timescale, he said they would go away and put together an application. They would have a pre-planning meeting with the local council. They would then submit a planning application, which would be made available to the Parish Council for comment. Noise, traffic, light and odour surveys would be completed and they would act on any feedback from the Council.
He said they were hoping to move around September 2016.
A final question was asked. Would they consider a Plan C – something smaller? He answered that they will look at it.