There are two major complaints about petrol and diesel in Ludlow. The Co-op is expensive and motorists have to suffer long queues. Now, Applegreen is coming to Bromfield Road in Ludlow. The petrol station and store could be open by October.
This could not be better timed given the chaos caused by the Co-op suddenly reducing its opening hours.
In May 2015, Shropshire Council’s South Planning Committee approved a petrol filling station and convenience store on the junction of Bromfield Road and Coronation Avenue.
The committee were insistent that the petrol tanks are located above ground and that safe pedestrian crossing arrangements are put in place.
The petrol filling station comes with a 3,000 square foot convenience store. That’s the same size as the Co-op on Foldgate Lane (formerly Harry Tuffins). There will also be a café in the old toll house on the corner of Bromfield Road and Coronation Avenue. We don’t know what brand this will be. The company makes much of its links to many international brands, including Costa Coffee – please, please not another Costa Coffee in Ludlow. Our town has a distinctive retail offer and it would be good to have a distinctive café operation on this site.
Up the road in Church Stretton, you’ll pay 118.80p for petrol and 120.80p for diesel at the Applegreen garage by the traffic lights. That’s cheaper than the Co-op.
[On 16 March, the Co-op was selling petrol at 119.9p and diesel at 121.9p.]
Development is scheduled to begin in June. The developer, Mead House Pension Fund, hopes to complete the work in October.
This construction schedule means that Brian Mear Bricks, a long-established and valued Ludlow company, needs to find a new home within a couple of months. Brian contacted me a short while back and we discussed options. Shropshire Council is currently discussing one possible site with Brian and is looking at alternatives if this doesn’t work out.
The filling station will be able to serve fuel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The store hours will be restricted to 0600hrs to 2400hrs weekdays, weekends and public holidays. These hours could be extended on application to Shropshire Council, providing a scheme to monitor and mitigate any disturbance in the early hours is put in place.
I can’t see why the store shouldn’t be open 24 hours. If the filling station is open, why shouldn’t you be able to buy a box of Muesli for breakfast or an early hours pack of bacon to slap between a couple of slices of bread? The sale of alcohol should be restricted to 6am to 11pm to prevent boozed up revellers from the town centre staggering by for a top up in the early hours.
There is still the matter of the location of the petrol tanks. Mead House has applied to put these below ground. I have objected strongly objected to this as has the Environment Agency. The location of storage tanks mostly above ground was one the main reasons the South Planning Committee felt able to agree the planning application. If Shropshire Council is minded to approve the below ground petrol tanks, I have asked for the application to go to the planning committee. This could delay start of construction but I hope that common sense prevails and the tanks are located above ground.
Applegreen was established in 1993. Its nearest petrol stations are at Church Stretton and Leominster. A further forecourt outlet in Ludlow therefore makes sense for efficient deliveries.
The Applegreen group is expanding rapidly. It has 133 sites in the Republic of Ireland, many on motorways, and 62 in the UK. It also has five sites in the USA. The group made a gross profit of €145.8 million in 2016, up from €125.9 million in 2015. It claims to offer “a distinctive convenience retail offering in the forecourt space”:
- A “low fuel prices, always” price promise to drive footfall to the stores
- A “Better Value Always” tailored retail offer, and
- A strong food and beverage focus aiming to offer premium products and service to the customer.
Applegreen has strategic partnerships with international brands including Burger King, Subway, Costa Coffee, Greggs, Lavazza, Chopstix, Freshii and 7-Eleven. The business also has its own food offer through the aCafé and Bakewell café brands, though I don’t know if these operate in the UK.
Church Stretton Applegreen: Image Google maps