A PETROL station operator accused of ‘corporate bullying’ had a retrospective planning application over supermarket lights turned down.

Motor Fuel Group (MFG) operates the Bloxham Service Station in South Newington Road and installed green lights for its Londis store in February 2018.

It did not submit a planning application and residents complained that the lights had been installed in March 2018.

MFG eventually filed a retrospective planning application, which Cherwell District Council’s planning committee rejected on Thursday. 

It is the second planning application MFG has had rejected by Cherwell councillors this year. Forecourt lights, which Bloxham councillor Chris Heath said lit up the village ‘like Blackpool’, were rejected in February.

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Amanda Baxter, who lives opposite the petrol station, said of the Londis lights application: “It seems to me that MFG has failed to grasp that they have no competition at 2am in rural Oxfordshire and that this lighting is superfluous, excessive and inappropriate at this site.”

Ian Corkin, who represents Fringford and Heyfords on the district council, said MFG’s second retrospective application this year was ‘quite incredible’ and ‘defied logic’.

He accused the company of ‘corporate bullying’ residents nearby with its lights.

Cherwell council officers had raised concerns in their report to councillors, stating: "The luminance of the advertisements is greater than those they replaced and they have significant visual impact on the amenity of the local area.

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"Along with other lighting at the site, the advertisements subject of this application give the site an urban feel which is at odds with its rural context.

"The site is in a sensitive location in close proximity to a number of dwellings and heritage assets."

However, they recommended approval as long as certain conditions were imposed, including that the lights should only be on between 9pm and 6am. 

Councillors refused the application anyway.