Blackburn’s billionaire Issa brothers have won an appeal that will now allow them to set up a service station at the end of the M65 in Colne.
Their property arm Monte Blackburn Limited had proposed to establish the facility off Whitewalls Drive.
But Pendle Council’s planning committee last year rejected it as the local residents’ group Greenfield Forum and Colne Business Improvement District expressed apprehensions about the impact of the plans on traffic and trade.
Monte, however, appealed the decision, for which councillors overruled officers’ advice to approve, to the government’s planning inspectorate, Lancashire Telegraph reported.
With the inspectorate now overturning the ruling after a review, Mohsin and Zuber Issa’s firm will start the construction of the Euro Garages’ service station and two associated industrial units at the site in the spring.
A petrol station, car wash, convenience store, drive-thru coffee unit and two industrial units which will create 120 jobs are set to come up on the 8.6-acre site.
EG Group’s development projects manager Alex Kenwright said the company was “delighted that the planning inspectorate overturned the refusal for permission.
“The original application was recommended for approval by the planning officer but overruled by councillors. This has delayed the investment and, more pertinently, local job creation by over 12 months. Notwithstanding this consideration and challenging economic environment, we intend to start working with stakeholders to ensure the scheme is a success and plan to begin construction in the spring of next year,” he said.
“We are presently developing the detailed design. There is already much interest in the small warehouses and we expect the scheme will be fully let upon completion. We have always felt the scheme offers the area much-needed facilities and this high-quality, well-landscaped scheme will help develop the local economy. In addition to the permanent 120 new full-time jobs, the project will also create temporary construction jobs for Lancashire as we look to use our local framework supply chain to deliver this £5m scheme,” Kenwright said.
Pendle Council’s planning manager Neil Watson said he was “disappointed” but “we will work with the developers to deliver the scheme.”