Plans for the knockdown rebuild of Crymych’s petrol station – Siop Y Frenni – in Pembrokeshire are expected to be refused next week.

A meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee on January 9 will consider the application. According to the Cambrian News, the application is recommended for refusal because the “proposed development is inadequately justified”. The committee has also been reminded of a 2017 Regional Retail Study which stated that there is no capacity to support new convenience floorspace in Pembrokeshire.

Forecourt Trader spoke to a source close to the applicant who confirmed that the application is going to be turned down. He said they had asked if they could attend the planning meeting but had been refused. He added that if the plans are rejected they would take the case to the Welsh government.

In 2022, another application for a knockdown rebuild of the site was withdrawn because of concerns from Pembrokeshire County Council about the lack of information provided regarding retail need and retail impact. In addition, the scale and position of the proposed retail building was considered to have a significant detrimental impact upon neighbours.

In response to this, in the latest plans the size of proposed replacement building has been greatly reduced. The previously withdrawn scheme proposed an additional c.565.7m2 of floorspace. In comparison the revised proposals represent an increase of 380.1m2.

The current site comprises a forecourt with four pumps and a shop. There are no formal parking spaces, just hardstanding with the rear hardstanding area not accessible to the public.

The redevelopment is proposed as the existing building and layout no longer meet the modern needs of the store, or its customers. The store has operated on this site since before the planning applicant purchased it, in November 2008, and has benefited from no meaningful investment since then.

The application says the existing floorspace (c.234.5m2) is too small to carry the required range of goods customers want, aisles are cluttered and generally the shopping experience is currently poor. It adds that the existing building is of very poor construction meaning an extension is not viable and the cost of making the existing building structurally sound would likely be prohibitive to development.

The application states: “The existing building has reached the end of its useful and viable life with the existing convenience floorspace not sufficient to the needs of modern convenience retailing. In particular, the existing building does not provide sufficient floorspace, whilst the existing store is not adequately sized to restock the shelves on the sales area. The existing floorspace also doesn’t allow for suitable staff facilities or an office to work from.

“The modest extension of existing facilities will provide a better quality retail environment to local residents whilst widening the range and choice of convenience goods provision. However, it will continue to serve predominately local residents within an immediate walk-in catchment. As a consequence, the proposals will enable current expenditure retention levels to be maintained. The application proposals will also deliver economic and social benefits to the area through increased job creation and will greatly improve the visual appearance of what is considered to be a prominent site that currently detracts significantly from the area in environmental terms”.

The plans for the site would see the number of fuel pumps stay at four but there would be four new EV chargepoints.