Anger at ‘eyesore’ derelict petrol station site

Jim Park at the Dalry Road site. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Jim Park at the Dalry Road site. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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A FORMER petrol station which has lain vacant for 18 months has been branded an “eyesore” by frustrated residents.

Neighbours have demanded answers over the future of the former Shell garage in Dalry Road, which is currently fenced off, with bricks and rubble piled up in the vacant lot.

Petroleum giant Shell was granted permission to decommission the site and demolish the petrol station in July 2013 but the former garage has lain unused ever since.

Resident Jim Park has now called for action on the site which he said was making the area look “dreadful”.

The 65-year-old supply teacher said: “No one knows what is happening and it is such an eyesore. Why is it being allowed?

“We want to know when are they going to get rid of the ­rubbish as it is in quite a 
prominent place.”

Mr Park added: “It is bringing the area down and it makes it look dreadful. We are a ­capital city and it’s not good.”

Fiona McLean, chairwoman of Gorgie and Dalry Community Council, said the council was keeping a close eye on any plans for the site.

She said: “I think the most important thing is getting something suitable for the ­community, whether it is a business or housing. It is quite a prominent site.”

Mrs McLean added: “We will have to see what the developer comes up with.”

But the community needs something done urgently, said Councillor Denis Dixon.

Cllr Dixon, who is a representative for Sighthill and Gorgie, said: “I’m not sure why this has been decommissioned but I imagine they want to redevelop it. It is quite a difficult place for anything other than another petrol station.

“They are certainly taking their time about it.”

It would be useful for the site to be used for a community purpose – such as extra green space – he said, but admitted that Shell were likely to sell the site for future development. He added: “It’s a bit of an eyesore.

“I do drive past it almost every day and think ‘What are we going to do about this?’”

The site is expected to be sold in 2015 for an alternative use but the oil giant would not say whether there have been interested buyers.

A spokesman for Shell said: “Shell is preparing the former Shell Dalry site for sale out of the industry. Shell hopes to market the site to interested parties later in 2015.”

The former petrol station hit the headlines in 2012 when police detained Greenpeace activists – some dressed as polar bears – protesting against the oil firm’s plans to drill in the Arctic.

The protestors attempted to scale the roof while some chained themselves to the ­petrol pumps.