A MEMBER of the public stormed out of Bury Council’s planning meeting as emotions ran high over controversial plans to convert a former pub into a petrol station and convenience store.

James Hall and Co Ltd put forward plans to develop the former Jolly Carters Pub site on the corner of Bolton Road and Watling Street.

There were shouts of protest as the meeting was taking place, with one man standing up and saying: “I will leave the room because this is the biggest load of bull**** I have heard in my life”.

The application has attracted more than 100 objections with concerns over the “detrimental impact” it will have on the area and traffic concerns.

Speaking against the application, Samuel Turner said: “I am imploring you this evening to reject this application, the online consultation received 182 comments and 181 complaints.

“It should be relevant to the committee that a planned car park and car wash application was refused in 2010 for this site for reason of detrimental parking and traffic manoeuvres as well as being unsightly and intrusive issues which are compounded by the addition of a petrol station and convenience store.”

He said there would be problems with congestion and air pollution.

Mr Turner said:“Researchers at the University of Mercia showed that heightened air borne levels of cancerogenic benzine is detected within 100 metres radius of petrol stations and recommend that housing is not within 50 metres of petrol station sites, in this case there are over 15 dwellings in that radius.”

Shouts of “she is talking rubbish” could be heard as Deborah Smith, representative for the applicant, spoke for the application.

She said: “The Watling Street junction is proposed to be widened and a pedestrian island added to aid crossing.

“There is sufficient space to safely accommodate delivery vehicles turning into and out of the A58.

“The access and egress of Watling Street has been tested and highways engineers have no objection to the proposals in this respect.”

Ms Smith pointed out that 60 per cent of customers pull into a petrol station because they are passing.

She said: “Traffic flows have been taken into account including the adjacent development, modelling shows there is significant capacity on the highway network.”

Ms Smith said deliveries to the site would be restricted and the petrol station would close at 11pm, saying the applicants had worked with officers to address objections “where we have been able to”.

“The proposal makes good use of the previously developed site with a provision of a high quality scheme,” she said adding it would be an operation "not to impact on residential amenity”.

Cllr Roy Walker, a local resident and councillor for the area described the plans as “perhaps the most worrying planning application that I can recall in 38 years”.

He said “My key concern is the volume and speed of traffic on Bolton Road and this problematic junction.

“In the morning queues often extend back to here from Bury Bridge.

“Its often difficult for cars and buses to get out of Watling Street out on to Bolton Road and is also challenging for pedestrians. Transport for Greater Manchester have suggested a pedestrian refugee at the bottom of Watling Street but that would mean the buses that serve our ward could not get around the corner

“This site was designated for housing nine years ago when permission was granted for 15 houses.”

He added: “Delivery vans to the shop, petrol tankers to the garage and vehicles using the six pumps would constitute an intrusion into the local residents’ immediate environment.

“I do not believe a number of houses would be opposed, the site is now an eyesore I grant you.”

Planning bosses were told that site was not designated for a specific development and there had been little change in volume of traffic in recent years.

Cllr Jackie Harris proposed that the committee reject the application on grounds of road safety and detrimental to residential amenity.

Cllr Harris said: “This is very much so a residential area, in fact a car park and car washing facility was refused because it is a residential area.

“On the committee we make decisions which have very far reaching effects on the people who have to live there and I do think it is something we should think about it.

“The issue of traffic and highways safety have been addressed in the report but I cannot agree with it because I do not think they have.

“We have got situation at that junction because of the houses opposite, it is getting busier and busier.

“I have to say I cannot support it, it is very much so detrimental to residential amenity.”

She added: “Common sense point of view tells one that all these extra cars are coming out on to this road I find it rather bizarre there has been no increase in the traffic.”

Her alternative proposal failed and an officer’s recommendation to approve with conditions was moved – and a shout “But we are desperate for houses” could be heard as angry members of the public left the room.