A DECISION looms on plans to demolish a service station off the A31 and A35 in Purbeck and replace it with a new facility.

Shell UK Oil Products Limited is seeking permission to carry out the major redevelopment at the site in North Street, Bere Regis.

If approved, the scheme would see a new sales building and jet wash installed, with electric vehicle charging points.

The changes would also see the petrol station no longer suitable for HGVs.

A planning, design and access statement submitted on behalf of Shell by JMS Planning & Development Ltd said the application will improve the offer and experience for customers, improve the general outlook of the site and formalise car parking arrangements.

The statement said that a database released last year showed the number of petrol forecourts in the UK had fallen to 8,385, compared to a high in 1967 of 39,958, while the number of registered UK vehicles had risen from 33.98 million in the first quarter of 2009 to 39.5 million by the end of March last year.

"Petrol filling stations generally offer a range of services," said the statement. "These include the provision of fuels, car care facilities (such as air/water and car washing) and shops. However, the qualitative demands on petrol filling stations are increasing.

"In particular, existing petrol filling stations have to accommodate a greater variety of facilities and provide a high-quality offer to customers and users who are becoming increasingly demanding for enhanced facilities.

"In this respect enhanced on-site sales building with food and beverage facilities is a major trend within the roadside market which has evolved in response to accommodate and meet the changing needs and aspirations of consumer."

The site is located to the south of the Townsend roundabout – where the A35 and A31 meet.

The proposed sales building would be significantly larger in terms of floor space compared with the existing facility.

There would 13 designated parking bays, including one accessible space, and a further two bays for electric vehicle charging.

No changes are proposed to the main petrol pump forecourt although Shell has confirmed the site will no longer provide HGV pumps.

In response to the plans, Purbeck District Council asked the applicants to ensure that there is appropriate signage on Townsend roundabout to highlight that HGVs can no longer refuel at the site, if the application is approved.

The proposals are currently being considered by Dorset Council's planning department.