A SERVICE station’s plans to build a new restaurant facility to help boost trade have been thwarted over concerns about the loss of green belt land in Dudley.

Planning officers at Dudley Council have refused to grant permission for the erection of a new two-storey building next to Himley Road Service Station following a number of complaints.

Residents and ward councillors said the 44-seater restaurant and takeaway was inappropriate development on the green belt while other issues such as lack of parking and the location being an “accident black spot”.

Petrol station bosses said the development was needed to sustain the fuel business.

Councillor Anne Millward said: “I have grave reservations concerning this application.

“Firstly, it encroaches onto green belt land and therefore would set a precedent and goes against the council’s own planning policy. Protection of the green belt is an extremely emotive subject.

“Secondly, the application states that there are only nine parking spaces

for a restaurant on a busy main thoroughfare (B1476). The location does not

lend itself to patrons walking to reach it.”

Councillor Bryn Challenor added: “From the plans and the information available on this application I have major concerns.

“The siting of a 44 seater restaurant and takeaway facility in a position where we have had many major accidents due to it being an accident black spot (one of Dudley’s first speed cameras was erected opposite the site).”

Residents also raised concerns about the noise and disturbance the facility would have on them as well as the disruption to wildlife on the land.

In their application, the petrol station management said: “It is important to increase the service facilities to the fuel station in order to sustain the economic feasibility of future fuel sales.

“The garage management team have decided to close the original car wash area as well as the car servicing facility.

“Therefore, the management have decided to add this restaurant/takeaway facility to the range of services to the existing convenience garage shop.”

But planning officers agreed with the objectors and have refused the proposal.