Although it’s still very much the norm that we use petrol or a diesel fuel-based car, this is slowly changing. Hybrids and Electric cars are steadily becoming more and more common on our streets and the demand for charging points is also rising. Whilst they are unusual now it seems that environment policy by governments and by us the buying public is leading us to an electrified future as opposed to a petrochemical one. What do we do with all the petrol stations that are left over? As we should be able to charge our cars at home the forecourt should, theoretically, become a thing of the past. There is not a case of difference of quality in the type of electric that you use to charge a battery. One thing is for sure companies that offer Tank Decommissioning will be in greater need to clear a site properly so that it can be reused. What have some enterprising people come up with for the forecourt after its tank has been decommissioned or removed?
- This is the primary use for many of the smaller stations that used to sit on the side of A or B roads that were placed within a town of village. The usual case is that the A road is diverted around the town or village making it redundant but it is also becoming the case in major cities like London and Manchester. Suddenly a brownfield site this gives developers the ideal chance to squeeze a mini estate on or build some luxury homes in what would be a premium area. It also saves on the use of the green belt.
- Public space. Counter to the housing idea, due to the area that a forecourt and station occupy, it offers a golden opportunity to rededicate the space to parkland or even a wooded area.
- Retail opportunities. The focus may have changed but, and this every much depends on the location, some villages have used the space to promote a farmers market or posh car boot sales. Others have turned the area into a selection of retail shops and local services. Some of the inner city ones have become record shops or independent coffee house establishments and bars.
- It’s not a common use but some have taken the forecourt and turned it into a place for entertainment. Retaining the covering over the forecourt has allowed for cinemas to be installed and even a covered, partially open theatre. There are some that are looking to convert them in to and open space piece of art.
Whatever the future holds these areas will certainly find a new lease of life.