Opinion divided over filling station plan

Yvonne and Gavin Watson with their plans for a petrol outlet at Muirdrum.
Yvonne and Gavin Watson with their plans for a petrol outlet at Muirdrum.

THE FAMILY behind a proposed filling station in Muirdrum are concerned its potential may never be realised.

Gavin and Yvonne Watson, of Muirdrum Farm, recently applied to Angus Council for permission to build a filling station, with a car wash and shop, near the village, but have now run into opposition.

Yvonne told the Guide & Gazette they already had planning permission for a similar development at a site a short distance from the new proposal, but this had to be abandoned because the ground was found to be unsuitable for burying the fuel tanks.

According to Yvonne objections only began after the Watsons had started a public consultation for caravan park development.

She said: “The last time we put in for the petrol station nobody complained and no complaints came before we started the public consultation.”

There have so far been 64 complaints submitted to Angus Council regarding the development. Many of the objections run along similar lines.

A quick snapshot of the complaints suggests the main topics of objection are increased traffic, noise and light pollution and viability.

For example, one resident said: “There would be an unacceptable increase in traffic, including lorries and large vehicles, to this small, quiet, country village, which would mean an increased safety risk to all residents, but especially to the many children who live in the village.

“The road through Muirdrum could not accommodate volumes of traffic other than access traffic for residents.”

Yvonne does not believe there would be an appreciable increase in village traffic. She said: “We live right next to a dual carriageway!

“That junction is all lit up with street lamps. We get lights shining in our house. It’s just a fact of life.

“But why would anybody drive through the village when there is a slip road straight on to the A92?

“So there’s no extra traffic. Nobody is coming through the village, the majority of the traffic is for Panlathy Mill.”

Life-long villager Bob Cameron said: “There have been six filling stations within a three-mile radius of here, including my own family’s filling station which could not survive as we were priced out by the supermarket filling stations.

“In the current financial climate everybody has to be mindful of their spending and in my opinion this filling station may not succeed long term.”

Yvonne responded: “We would hope to build it and lease it to somebody, it has to be a big company. We have approached some of the major supermarkets as there’s going to be a shop associated with it, we could sub let it.

And she explained they had already consulted with some businesses in Carnoustie and had identified a need to be able to accommodate HGVs.

Yvonne said: “Ian Roberts’ vehicles have got to go to Stracathro to fill up, he carries grain from Arbroath to the grain store and at the height of the season he reckons he spends £24,000 a week, and travelling to Stracathro adds extra cost. He’s all for the development.”

The developer says that on top of this, it is expected to create four or five full-time jobs, plus an as yet unknown number of part-time ones.

In the meantime, while the Watsons wait for their application to be considered, they have organised a petition to show Angus Council the level of support in the community for a petrol station.

“We have been out gathering signatures in support on Monday and we managed to get 50 signatures in less than an hour.

“Not one person said they didn’t want it and not one person said they wouldn’t sign it.

“I’ve got 100 signatures just now and a lot of them are saying they’ve got to go on a 14-mile round trip to get petrol.”

There is now an online petition which can be accessed by searching for “Muirdrum Petrol Station” at www.ipetitions.com.

Copies of the petition are available to be signed at several businesses in Carnoustie, including Robbie’s hairdresser, Ian Roberts Motors, Liz McColgan’s health club, MacLagan’s newsagent, Westfield Motors and others.

l Do you live in Muirdrum? What are your views on the development? Do you live in Carnoustie and are tired of being forced to buy petrol from out of town? Contact us with your opinions at the usual address.