Applegreen has now grown to 50 sites in the UK following the acquisition of the lease on a petrol station in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.

The deal means it has more than doubled the number of its UK sites since the 2013 Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies, when it had 23 sites.

Michael O’Loughlin, managing director of Petrogas UK, said: "We are all delighted at Applegreen to open our 50th UK site but it’s not our culture to sit around reminiscing.

"We are already out in the market looking for the next 50 lease or freehold we will consider everything. During the year we also completed 10 refits and on Wednesday December 10 we opened our 10th UK Subway in Streatham Common. Last year was a fantastic one for Petrogas and we’re all looking forward to 2015 for more of the same."

The new site was acquired on a 19-year lease after the previous tenant, Shell, decided not to renew its lease and the site owner, Mr Unique, appointed Rapleys to find a new occupier.

Mark Frostick, associate in Rapleys’ automotive and roadside team, who acted on behalf of Mr Unique, commented: "Rapleys is delighted to have secured a new tenant for Mr Unique allowing an immediate handover from Shell to Petrogas. This shows that traditional petrol stations are still desirable businesses and the market remains buoyant.

"When a big player like Shell decides to pull away from a site it is important, both to the site owner and the local community, that a new, stable, operator is put in place. Petrogas has a long-term plan to redevelop the site and, with their track record of Applegreen successes, we think the future for this site looks bright."

Ron Sanderson of Clarion Roadside acted for Petrogas.