A plan to turn what is claimed to be England’s oldest petrol station into a home in a Herefordshire village has been approved despite objections from motoring enthusiasts.

Mike and Ashley Clark wanted planning permission to convert Glendore in the Golden Valley village of Turnastone, and to add a single-storey extension, detached garage and new access road.

The building’s use as a filling station dates from 1919 and still evidenced by the period pumps which stand in its front garden. But the grade II listed building served as a family home for around a hundred years before that.


Among 12 objections, former Top Gear presenter and racing driver Tiff Needell wrote: “England’s oldest surviving petrol station should be preserved as just that. It should be a museum!”

His views were echoed by several other figures from the motoring world, while others claimed the land would be contaminated from its previous use.

But Penny Plato and Philip Newton, neighbours of the applicants, said the property “has been poorly maintained by previous owners the Countryside Regeneration Trust and has now been empty for some time”, and pointed to its previous use as a family home.


“We hope this long overdue renovation work can start without further delay,” they added.

And fellow resident Cynthia Comyn said: “To have two more people who actually intend living here and maintaining a charming old house is a considerable benefit to the village.”

Planning officer Elsie Morgan concluded: “Though the shop element is to be lost in the development, the use of the building in its entirety as a dwelling is considered acceptable in ensuring the asset is conserved and protected into the future.”

A condition with the planning approval says that if any fresh contamination is found at the site during building works, a statement must then be submitted detailing how this is to be dealt with.