A SERVICE station in Auchinleck has been given the green light to raise the roof - literally - in a bid to prevent accidents.

The owners of the Jet service station on Main Street had asked East Ayrshire Council (EAC) for permission to increase the height of the canopy above their fuel pumps, to stop HGVs regularly hitting and damaging the existing structure.

EAC officials approved the application - but dismissed an attempt by the Ayrshire Roads Alliance (ARA) to add a condition to the plans which would have banned HGVs from reversing out of the station.

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While the increase in the canopy height, at just 50 centimetres, is relatively small, the applicants took time to explain the importance to the business and some historical context.

The Motor Fuel Group stated the canopy was primarily to keep customers dry and the forecourt illuminated.

They continued: “Historically canopies were lower because vehicles generally were smaller and although the principle of refuelling vehicles has not changed, it is easy to see by comparison with modern stations where the changes have evolved.

“Petrol stations now serve larger vehicles, particularly the delivery tankers that bring and off-load fuel into the underground storage tanks.

“In the 70s and 80s the standard heights were between 3m and 4.2m from the ground to the underside of the canopy. They accommodated all but a small number of road vehicles.”

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They pointed out the the industry standard is now 5.4m, although most of the tallest HGVs remain on trunk roads and motorways.

They continued: “At the present height the canopy is vulnerable to impact damage and has been repaired on many occasions.

“The need to remove the ongoing risk of damage and subsequent loss of business by raising the height of the canopy is the reason for this application.”

ARA, a statutory consultee, suggested that a ban on HGVs reversing out of the station on to Main Street should be added as a condition of the planning permission on road safety grounds.

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They suggested: “The HGV traffic using the HGV pump will no longer be allowed to reverse onto the public carriageway when exiting the garage.

“All traffic should use the one way in and one way out system. The planning statement should now include a section to this effect.”

However, planners said that the conditions suggested were not relevant to the proposal "as the traffic flow will not be impacted by the works".

The application was approved last week under delegated powers.