NORTON councillors have said plans to build a petrol station on a derelict plot of land in the town would create a “nightmare out of a nightmare”.

A planning application submitted by BP includes the construction of the filling station on the land between Welham Road and Springfield Garth, which has been unused for nearly 20 years.

However, members of Norton Town Council said the application was “totally inappropriate” for the site.

Cllr Bryan Barrett said: “By building a petrol station there they are funnelling more and more vehicles into the centre of Norton.

“If we need another petrol station it should be out of town, such as Brambling Fields or the proposed new development in Beverley Road, which would be away from all the choke points. This is going to make a bad situation even worse.”

Cllr Di Keal said: “This site is on a flood plain and I know from experience of the 2001 flood that fuel leaked out of the tankers at the petrol station in Church Street into back gardens.

“How on earth can they consider an application of this kind in the middle of a flood plain. I really hope the Environment Agency objects to the madness.”

Cllr David Lloyd-Williams said: “This is totally inappropriate for a petrol station and we as a council should object strongly to the application on the grounds of its inappropriate location. It will make a nightmare out of a nightmare.”

The 0.56 hectare site was formerly the home of Malton Clothing factory, which closed in early 2000. The land was then going to be the site of a new Aldi store in 2013, as well as retail units and a child day nursery, but none were taken forward.

The BP application is for the construction of a petrol station with three fuel pumps, a forecourt shop and 40 parking spaces.

Agents Rapleys said: “The new proposed petrol filling station will not only enhance petrol station provision within the local area to meet the modern needs and expectations of motorists, but shall also contribute to the local economy and employment.

“The proposed development has taken consideration of design, highways and environmental policies to deliver significant visual enhancements to a vacant site, while continuing to preserve local amenity and highway arrangements.”

The application letter states the site is “entirely within flood zone 3a,” adding “Petrol stations are considered as ‘less vulnerable’ under the National Planning Policy Framework. Less vulnerable proposals located within zone 3a are considered appropriate.”