US warehouse club giant Costco has applied for planning permission to build a petrol station (PFS) in the car park of its Southampton outlet.

Costco Wholesale sells fuel at discount prices at its 12 sites across the UK, but the forecourts are only open to members.

In its application Costco said: “The petrol station specification, pump availability and underground storage capacities are designed to reflect the petrol offer at other Costco warehouses across the world, and builds on the experience of Costco’s other PFSs in the UK.

“The PFS is proposed with nine dual-sided dispensers, on islands with fuel hose delivery to both sides of the dispenser providing eighteen filling positions. The pumps will be fully automated and self-service operated by means of Costco membership card and payment made by debit / credit cards; there will be no cash sales.

“This method of forecourt operation is significantly more efficient than ‘Pay at Kiosk’ stations with much reduced standing time on the forecourt, consequently accommodating higher throughput with minimal queuing. Passing lanes allow members to move to the front pumps maintaining access to all positions at all times.

“The automated operation means there is no requirement for sales kiosks, shops etc. and there will be no sales other than petrol and diesel dispensation.”

It added that if the petrol filling station performs to its design capacity it is expected to require an average of one tanker delivery per day.

Costco has won planning permission for a PFS at its Glasgow warehouse and says it is seeking to open further PFSs at other sites, which currently total 28 in the UK.