Published: November 27, 2013
Approved: Asda petrol station wins the go-ahead in Highbridge

Asda's plans to build a controversial petrol station outside its Highbridge store have this week been given the go-ahead despite a high profile campaign to halt the scheme by residents.

Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee gave the go-ahead for the eight-pump petrol station at the Caxton Road store during a meeting on Tuesday (November 26th).

The approval comes after first reported here in September that Asda had altered its scheme by reversing the proposed entrance and exit locations and proposing a new pedestrian crossing be built in order to address road safety concerns.

Somerset County Council's highways department withdrew its objections as a result and this helped Asda secure the go-ahead for its proposal.

However, nearby residents are unimpressed and claim the petrol station will create extra noise, pollution and disturbance.

Cllr Bob Filmer, who chairs Sedgemoor's Development Control Committee, said on Tuesday that a number of controls are in place to reduce the impact on residents.

These include restricting the opening hours of the petrol station to those of the store itself and reducing light pollution by ensuring lights are directed downwards and away from nearby properties.

Local resident Racheal Loud said: "I and other residents are very concerned. The petrol station would create pollution, lead to health problems for children and cause a big increase in traffic at an already busy junction."

But while town councillors gave a 'thumbs down' to the scheme at their recent planning meeting, Sedgemoor has granted permission.

The planning application was approved by eight votes to five on Tuesday.

Estates Town Planning Manager for ASDA, Alan Jones, said: "We’re pleased with the decision and grateful to the district councillors for their support. It is well known that Asda’s petrol prices generally drive down the cost of petrol in a local area, increasing competition and improving choice. We’re looking forward to bringing those famous low-prices to Highbridge."

The original plans attracted a number of objections earlier this year, as reported here, prompting the scheme to be subsequently withdrawn by Asda.

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