A PETITION has been launched in opposition to proposals for a new 90-space garage and cafe on greenbelt land near Four Crosses.

Mike Hall set up the online petition after letters were issued to residents in the area informing them of a proposed development for a café, shop and electric charging point at a site beside the A483.

Residents living in Four Crosses have been notified that plans will be submitted for the garage, giving them a month to notify the planning agent of any concerns they may have with the plans.

Jamie Ashton, who owns Four Crosses-based EC Ashton & Son, has backed the petition and believes the plans would be inappropriate for the location and community.

“The sites are humongous,” he said. “The plans for this one have 90 parking spaces.

“As a business, I don’t feel like we’re at that point of usage yet – it doesn’t mean charging points aren’t needed. We were looking at putting three in our site.

“It’s a massive thing to be putting on the edge of a small village. To put this great big monstrosity there would mean the illumination from the canopy lights alone would light up rooms of people’s houses nearby.

“It’s just wrong. If it was put at Mile End or Welshpool Roundabout, I’d completely understand, but I would still think it is too big.

“To me, business wise, it doesn’t make sense. It will be a commercial eyesore and there will be infrastructure in place to offer electric vehicle charging in the area.”

Mr Ashton also fears the impact the proposed site would have on businesses locally, including his.

He said: “The natural progression for my business is for electric charging points – so having the new garage there means people wouldn’t come to us for that, so it will harm a local business.

“We have plans in the pipeline for charging points – we know this is the way things are going.

“That isn’t just me, it’s other garages in the area. There will be a shop there as well which might take custom away from shops in the area including ourselves.

“We’ve been serving the community for more than 40 years – when Covid hit, I personally went around delivering groceries to people’s houses, so we’re a part of the community.

“We’re now hoping the community will support us.”

Letters were sent out by planning agent Roger Parry & Partners last week, notifying residents they have 28 days to make any representations.

Mr Hall, who set up the petition online, said the main concern is that the proposed site is on greenbelt land.

He said: “This petition is not against the use of electric charging points but against the site location, as it's on green belt land.

“We the community feel it's better that the local garages, E.C Ashton & Sons in Four Crosses, and Lewis Garage in Llandrinio, would be better suited for the charging points.

“As electric points can be installed in 95 per cent of homes in the area and provide a cheaper alternative to charging stations, the actual need for through traffic charging points will be minimal.

“If the demand in the future increases there could be expansions to the garages. There are also other brownfield sites in the area that can be considered, such as the creamery bringing in future trade to businesses located there.”