Concerns have been raised over plans that have seen an old garage converted into a shop in a North Yorkshire village, amid worries that it will harm existing facilities.

In February this year, proposals from national company Penny Petroleum were submitted, seeking retrospective permission to turn the former Coates Garage in Scorton, near Catterick, into a nationally-branded petrol filling station with a shop. 

Under the plans, Penny Petroleum is looking to gain approval for converting the old MOT centre and workshop into a retail space and tills; something that has sparked anger among villagers. 

Darlington and Stockton Times: The former Coates Garage building in Scorton, North YorkshireThe former Coates Garage building in Scorton, North Yorkshire (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

The petrol station, which was already there under the Coates Garage name, now has the sign 'Total Energies' and a Londis store has been added to the site and is actively trading.

If approved, the plans, including four car parking spaces, a night pay drawer, and a window overlooking the petrol forecourt will be allowed to remain on the site and building work on the MOT centre and garage part of the site will be able to continue.

Despite Penny Petroleum wanting the retrospective application passed, there have been more than 50 objections from members of the public, agencies, and local representatives so far.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The former Coates Garage in ScortonThe former Coates Garage in Scorton (Image: GOOGLE MAPS)

Objectors' concerns centre on the fact that shops, pubs, a hospital and a grammar school have closed in Scorton over time - leaving just a shop and a post office, which villagers fear could close if there is the petrol station shop competing with it.

One objector, Cheryl Snowball said: "Scorton used to have three pubs, two filling stations incorporating garage repairs, a Post Office and two village shops, plus a hospital and a Grammar School, churches and doctors' surgery.

"The village has lost many of these facilities but seems to have maintained its community through the facilities that remain. To jeopardise the position of the village shop and most importantly the Post Office is surely detrimental to the village."

Another objector, Barbara Robinson, said that the shop and petrol station is "catastrophic" for the post office and existing shop.

She said: "I object to the application to change the use of the garage to a retail shop. My concerns are that we already have an adequate shop and post office in the village which is open seven days a week and serves the village with all its needs.

Darlington and Stockton Times: A petrol station area and a Londis on the site of the old Coates GarageA petrol station area and a Londis on the site of the old Coates Garage (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

"Opening a much larger shop will put the Post Office at risk of closing which will affect the majority of people in Scorton and surrounding villages especially the elderly.

"The business was originally a garage selling fuel and a repair workshop, changing it to a convenience store that we already have in the village is not necessary or benefit anyone. The loss of the Post Office in the village would be catastrophic."

Penny Petroleum has urged North Yorkshire Council to approve the retrospective proposals, saying: "In our opinion, the proposed works to increase the size of the retail offering at Scorton Petrol Filling Station are a good use of currently unused space for the benefit of the customers of the filling station and residents.

"We would therefore ask officers and members to consider the application for approval."

It is expected that a decision will be made on the proposals in the coming weeks.