Plans to convert an old garage into a shop and petrol station in a North Yorkshire village have been deferred - amid numerous objections about the harm it could pose to existing amenities and questions about building work.

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 - although parts of the application are retrospective, given that work on the shop has already been carried out.

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.

However, the deferral, which came during a Richmond Area Constituency Planning meeting on Thursday (June 13), now means that Penny Petroleum will now be blocked, for now, from starting the renovation - which could include four car parking spaces, a night pay drawer, a bigger shop space, and building work on the MOT centre if approved in the future.

During the consultation stage of the application, there were 53 objections from members of the public, alongside a petition from villagers, which received support from 243 people, and concerns raised from Scorton Parish Council.

These concerns centred on the fact that villagers believe Scorton Post Office and Shop will be in danger if the Londis shop at the former Coates Garage can remain.

Before the meeting, the importance of the Post Office was highlighted in the North Yorkshire Council planning portal, with a representation from a member of the public noted down, which read: " The Post Office has been serving customers for many decades.

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

"This is an established family business; Shailendra and Versha even provided a delivery service during COVID which was a lifeline for vulnerable people during lockdown.

"Scorton Village Store is at the heart of our community, centrally located and where people meet and catch up. Scorton is a caring village with sheltered housing, care homes and many elderly and vulnerable residents who rely on the Post Office and Shop."

Other concerns included the lack of parking at the site, overdevelopment and disturbance to local residents.

In response to the concerns, Penny Petroleum, which has numerous other petrol stations across North Yorkshire and the North East, had written to the planning committee, noting that the petrol station and shop would create seven full-time job roles.

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)

Deferring the application on Thursday, members of the Richmond planning committee said they needed more time to consider the application after they were told by planning officers that more information about the building work involved and about the planning framework was required.

Members of the committee agreed with the indication to defer the application, with Cllr Kevin Foster, who  covers the Hipswell and Colburn division, saying: "In light of the new information and requirements, it would be silly not to take the legal advice we have got here."

Councillors on the committee voted unanimously to defer the application. 

If the application is approved, it's understood that there will be conditions attached - including the shop and petrol station must open between 7am and 10pm Monday to Sunday, and 8am until 9pm on Sunday and Bank Holiday, as well as conditions concerning fuel deliveries and parking.

It's expected that the application will be brought back to a future Richmond planning meeting, with the next one taking place on July 11.