A PLAN for a new petrol station off the A34 looks set to be thrown out over plans it would wreck part of the Oxfordshire countryside.

A new roadside area, with 12 fuel pumps, two electric car charging points and a shop, would be built on land off the Chilton Interchange if it is approved later this week.

But Vale of White Horse district councillors have been urged to reject the scheme over worries it could ruin green open space and that developers have failed to show how any harm to it could be justified.

The site is in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), on the western side of the A34 Chilton Interchange.

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Chilton and Harwell Parish Councils are both opposed over concerns the project would mean ‘major development’ in the AONB and that there have been ‘no exceptional circumstances demonstrated’.

A similar planning application was withdrawn last September. Another petrol station was refused at the same site in September 1987.

Harwell Parish Council said it worried about possible noise and light pollution if the petrol station is built.

Those in support said the petrol station is ‘what Chilton needs’ and that it would provide a ‘decent shop within walking distance’.

A Vale council report states: “This is not a site that is allocated for development and the proposal would represent major development within the AONB.

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“There are no exceptional circumstances to justify the development and there are opportunities to accommodate such new development outside the AONB. The development is therefore unacceptable.”

Harwell Campus has also objected and said there is ‘no need’ for the facility.

Vale council’s own landscape officer said the proposals ‘do not conserve or enhance the AONB’ and there will be a ‘negative impact on both the character and impact’ on it.

While 31 people have written to Vale council to say no work should go ahead, another 11 have said it should proceed.

A Vale council report continues: “This proposal is not a village/local shop development. The retail element is not designed to meet the day to day needs of the local population."