Plans for petrol station and M&S Simply Food store on Soham by-pass gets go-ahead by East Cambs District Council

Proposed BP garage complex for Soham

Proposed BP garage complex for Soham - Credit: Archant

A £2million M&S store and petrol filling station on the Soham by-pass has been approved by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Ely40 Jonathan

Ely40 Jonathan - Credit: Archant

Jonathan James, through his James Construction and Developments Ltd company, applied to build the petrol station on land next to the A142 roundabout on The Shade.

A report said on ‘planning balance’ “The national need for petrol filling stations is widely recognised. The proposal will provide much needed facilities both for fuel and to meet the identified need for a convenience retail facility to the north of Soham”.

Planning case officer Barbara Greengrass also said in her report that while the site is outside the development boundary the “benefits of the proposal outweigh the minimal amount of harm to the character of the area and the site forms a natural extension to the built environment”.

She also said there is no conflict with the national or local planning policy and there will be “no harm to the highway capacity or safety.”

New BP garage complex for Soham

New BP garage complex for Soham - Credit: Archant

Mr James wants to build the petrol filling station, which will be operated by BP/M&S Simply Food, on the 1.5 acre site opposite 14 and 15 The Shade.

The forecourt will have 10 fuel pumps and a canopy, a drive through car wash, two jet wash bays and three air/water/vacuum facilities with car parking and landscaping.

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It will be a 24-hour facility but with no provision for use by HGVs.

Soham Town Council welcomed the proposal but was concerned about surface water disposal and possible overnight parking by HGVs.

However, ECDC ward Councillor Carol Sennitt commented: “This facility would add a much needed facility. The north end of Soham needs a shop and another petrol station has been requested by the people of Soham.”

Ms Greengrass’ report said seven letters from neighbouring residents had been received with the main issues raised including:

• Exhaust pollution to the school

• The roundabout is too small

• Risk of fire and explosion

• Litter

• Noise and light pollution

• Outside the development boundary

• Does not accord with the Soham Vision

Mr James speaking at the time of the application’s submission said the new outlet will create 25 jobs.

He said: “With the continued expansion of Soham and the ever increasing use of the A142 this development with provide modern facilities for residents and motorists alike”

Ms Greengrass recommended approval subject to a raft of conditions including: Plans for disposal of surface water, noise level restrictions, submission of a site lighting plan, landscaping and installation of fire hydrants.