Fears for Southbourne service station’s future

The service station in Southbourne could be demolished to make way for a new shop
The service station in Southbourne could be demolished to make way for a new shop

RESIDENTS have expressed concern about a proposal to demolish a service station and replace it with a shop.

Villagers are concerned that a new retail unit on the main road in Southbourne will lead to parking in the road next to the site.

Sophie Cork, of The Drive, said: “It wouldn’t be great because of the lorries coming up and down The Drive. It’s hard enough parking down here as it is.”

Other residents said they did not want another food shop on the site because there were already a few in the village.

Julie Cleverly, from Lauder Close, said: “We need more things like a hardware shop, for instance, not more food stores.”

However, Mel Wilson, a hairdresser who lives in the village, said she did not think a new shop would make a difference if more people walked to the local amenities.

“Hopefully there will be more parking at the front where the pumps are at the moment,” she said.

“If more local people walked to the shops, schools and doctors, then parking wouldn’t be an issue anyway. I don’t think it is a bad idea, really.”

It has been suggested the site will be turned into a Co-op.

Senior acquisitions manager at the Southern Co-operative, Dan Bowyer, said: “We may have the opportunity for an improved, larger store with post office and parking in Southbourne, but this is dependent on the developer’s planning application.

“No plans have been confirmed regarding the Southern Co-operative’s existing store nearby.”

The proposal is for demolition of the petrol filling station, car sales and car repairs building, with the erection of a retail unit and four flats with associated parking, cycle and refuse storage.

Owner of the site Richard Damerell said: “It is with considerable regret that the site has to close after 40 years.

“I feel it is time for the village to have a fresh approach with regards to the development on this site. I feel the new retail outlet and residential accommodation will now benefit the community more.”

Southbourne Service Station will close on July 29 with car servicing and repairs finishing earlier.