Coffee shop plans unveiled at Gateway

Proposals for the Buchan Gateway Retail Park include a drive-thru coffee shop and 24-hour petrol service station
Proposals for the Buchan Gateway Retail Park include a drive-thru coffee shop and 24-hour petrol service station

A Peterhead business has raised serious concerns over plans for a drive-thru coffee shop and 24-hour petrol station at the southern approach to the town.

Applicants EG Group Ltd want to build on a vacant site just off the Invernettie roundabout in the Buchan Gateway Retail Park, claiming it will bring 50-60 full and part-time jobs to the area.

The submission to Aberdeenshire Council shows the drive-thru opening from 6am to 11pm, with the petrol service station and associated retail outlet operating 24 hours.

Aberdeenshire Council is inviting comments to be submitted by Monday, April 2.

One such submission has been made by the owners of the 24-hour garage on South Road who claim the proposal could close its operation which has served the town for many years.

In a formal objection to the council, Garry Haigh said: “I strongly object to the planning application on the grounds that this will have a major impact on traffic and noise at an already congested small roundabout, which has severe traffic queues and crashes at peak times.

“Also, there are already sufficient eating places in this area and with more being built, it will be to the detriment of our town centre which is suffering because of low footfall. “

Mr Haigh, who has formally requested to address councillors when they discuss the plans, added: “There is already a local 24-hour petrol station that has served the public and emergency services for the last 25 years half a mile away and if another 24-hour station opens in the town then it will have to stop its 24-hour operation which will mean job losses.”

Echoing the concerns over traffic, an occupant of the Burnside Business Centre occupant commented: “Has anyone actually seen the amount of traffic on this roundabout already?

“On more than one occasion last year when McDonalds were having problems, traffic was backed up on all sides of the roundabout because of the queue to get into their carpark.”

However, several local residents feel it will be an asset to the town. In one letter, a resident wrote: “I think this is a great idea. Using the untidy waste land just as you approach Peterhead would make an entry into Peterhead worthy of our lovely wee town. It would create healthy competition which in turn keeps prices down along with creating new jobs. This in turn will hopefully bring more new businesses to Peterhead.”

Another said: “The town desperately needs more businesses to come into the area. The proposed area for this is prime for development and if we can encourage companies like this to come, then hopefully others will follow.”

Agents for the applicants maintain say the development proposals have “certain synergies” with the planning permission in principle planning application granted for a masterplan in this location back in 2016.

In their application, they write: “The development proposal has been considered against the development plan and relevant material onsiderations and it is concluded that the proposal accords with the provisions of the development plan and there are no material considerations which outweigh this. It is therefore requested that planning permission is granted.”

EG Group are actively increasing their Scottish presence and alongside its approach to roadside retail property, the company has forged relationships with national and global brands brands such as Starbucks, Burger Kings, Subway and Greggs.