Plans to expand a retail park by adding a drive-thru and petrol station in a north-east town have been “reluctantly” approved.
The EG Group had submitted proposals to Aberdeenshire Council for full planning permission for the facility, including a drive-thru coffee shop, at the Buchan Gateway at Peterhead.
Members of the Buchan area committee had previously discussed the plans at its May meeting, but deferred a decision due to traffic concerns.
Councillors had wanted to get more information on pedestrian and public transport access as well as hear if any traffic management measures were needed.
An updated traffic study was submitted to Transport Scotland for the site at the Invernettie roundabout which allowed the body to respond to concerns raised by councillors.
It said the impact of traffic on the roads around the site would be “minimal”, with planning officers recommending the proposals be approved.
Members of the committee – including councillors Stephen Smith, Stephen Calder and Anne Allan – raised concerns regarding the development potentially causing a traffic bottleneck at the meeting at Buchan House yesterday.
Mr Calder said that due to the amount of people who may travel to the site the location of a current bus stop could make the busy roundabout “unsafe”.
He said: “I don’t think we can push this issue further into the future. We would need to do something now.”
Mr Smith called for a traffic survey to be carried out a year following the construction of the development. This was rejected by planning officers as they felt it could have been an unreasonable condition.
Fears over the impact of the project on businesses were raised by Garry Haigh, who runs Peterhead Motors.
He told the committee: “Aberdeenshire Council has a ‘town centre first’ approach.
“The applicant hasn’t shown why the plans need to be on this site.
“If this is approved we would already have three petrol stations and this could affect businesses in the town.”
None of the councillors proposed a motion to reject the proposals.
When asked by chairman of the Buchan area committee Norman Smith if they went with officers’ recommendations, Cllr Allan said: “Reluctantly.”