Petrol pumps retained as part of new store plan

John Paton-Day outside the former Rhymers Tower filling station and Rutherfords car showroom, which The Co-operative plans to covert into a store. The retailer is also aiming to restore fuel sales on the site.
John Paton-Day outside the former Rhymers Tower filling station and Rutherfords car showroom, which The Co-operative plans to covert into a store. The retailer is also aiming to restore fuel sales on the site.

Just over a week after The Co-operative withdrew plans for a new store at the former Rutherfords site in Earlston, it has come back with a new bid.

This time the retailer is proposing to reinstate fuel sales, after it had dismissed the possibility in the initial application to the council for planning approval, stating that the petrol pumps served an area with ready access to other such facilities.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food said this week: “Following a review I can confirm that we have resubmitted our plans for a new convenience store to include a petrol filling station.

“It is our view that residents and visitors to Earlston will be better served by this addition.”

He added: “The new store is planned to open in the new year, at which point the existing store in the town will close.

“All staff will transfer to the new site, and a number of new jobs will be created.”

The news of the reinstatement of fuel sales in the town has been welcomed by local resident and former ward councillor John Paton-Day, but he has also raised concerns about access to the store for elderly residents.

“Of course it is good that we could have the fuel sales, but it does mean a number of people will have a difficult job getting across the road, and there is no crossing there,” Mr Paton-Day said.