A PETROL station hoping to open a drive-through bakery has been refused permission – because the A34 site is in the green belt.

The owners of the BP service station at Weston-on-the Green near Bicester have now lodged an appeal against Cherwell District Council’s ruling.

Permission for the drive-through bakery and sandwich shop was sought by Euro Garages, which owns and operates petrol stations across the UK.

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It is thought the bakery would be run by an outside firm such as Greggs, though the operator was never named.

Euro Garages proposed to house the bakery in a new building alongside the existing petrol station, mechanics and Starbucks.

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But, after being rejected by officers earlier in the year, Euro Garages has this month appealed.

The officer’s original decision said: “The proposed development constitutes inappropriate development within the Oxford Green Belt which would be harmful to the openness of the Oxford Green Belt.

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“There are no very special circumstances which would outweigh the harm caused to the Green Belt and the proposal is therefore contrary to... the Cherwell Local Plan.”

It also said officers did not think the flood risk assessment was sufficient.

In reply, Euro Garages said the plans constituted ‘infilling’ of already developed land on the green belt and therefore would not do any extra harm.

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The grassy site where Euro Garages wants to put its new drive-through bakery. Picture: Google Maps

It added: “The building would not be taller than the former Little Chef building or the petrol filling station.

“This leads the appellant to conclude that the proposal constitutes ‘limited infilling’ within an existing roadside service area.”

The council’s response said: “[The building] would be developed on a grassed area, which the council considers makes a contribution to the openness of the Oxford Green Belt and provides a green buffer between the former Little Chef building and the petrol filling station.”

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Currently, the service station includes a mechanics, the BP petrol station along the northbound carriageway alongside a Starbucks. The new drive-thru bakery and sandwich shop would be built on a grassy area between the petrol forecourt and Starbucks.

It would be 4.5m high and share a seating area, but have two separate counters for the proposed bakery and sandwich shop. The drive-through element would only serve the bakery side of the building.

Plans would also include creating a drive-through lane for the existing coffee shop.

The site currently has 63 parking spaces, but would decrease to 58.

The application will now go to the planning inspectorate for a final decision.