Preston supermarket could soon be offering an MOT with your weekly shop

Customers at a Preston supermarket could soon be able to get their car repaired while they do the weekly shop.

By Brian Ellis
Friday, 29th April 2022, 12:30 pm

Morrisons have revealed plans to put two garage repair pods on the car park of their store on the city's dock estate.

The retail giant wants to offer shoppers an IN'n'OUT Autocentre and an Xpress Centre where vehicles can be serviced, MOT tested and have repairs done, including minor bodywork issues.

The company has applied to the city council for planning permission to provide the service which some other store chains are now offering around the country.

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Morrisons on Preston's Dock Estate could soon be offering MOTs with weekly shop.

"The scheme seeks to revitalise the existing Morrisons car park by offering more choice to customers and generating new employment opportunities through the provision of Xpress Centres and IN’n’OUT Autocentres pods," says a report to the council's planning department.

"The application seeks to extend facilities available within the constraints of the existing WM Morrisons foodstore, broadening facilities available to the local community, whilst remaining ancillary to the existing offer."

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The supermarket chain plans to site the IN’n’OUT pod and Xpress Centre facility next to the south-eastern boundary of the Morrisons car park site next to Mariners Way. They will take up 42 car parking spaces, but the store will still have 564 available.

An IN'n'OUT pod similar to the one which could come to Preston (Image: IN'n'OUT).

Planners say a row of dense hedging will provide a degree of visual screening from the road.

The company says the proposal would not be "visually prominent" from any residential properties, "owing to the physical separation afforded by the Preston Marina."

"Given the site’s context and its established commercial setting, it is not considered that these small-scale proposals can be considered discordant with their surroundings.

"It is considered that the proposal would not have any adverse effects on the amenity or privacy of surrounding occupiers.

An Xpress Centre similar to the one planned for Preston (Image: Xpress Centres).

"Furthermore, the nature of the facilities proposed are such that they will not generate issues relating to nuisance, odours, fumes, noise or light pollution.

"Careful consideration has been placed in the positioning of the pods to ensure that there is no disruption to vehicular and pedestrian circulation and that site will continue to operate as existing.

"The pods are positioned on existing park bays which will reduce the total parking numbers by 42 standard car parking bays."

IN‘n’OUT Autocentres, which currently operate in 28 locations across the UK, will offer MOT testing, servicing and repairs. Customers will have to pre-book.

"It is envisaged that customers will time their visit to IN‘n’OUT with their weekly food shop," says the company.

"The average weekly shop takes approximately 55 minutes which coincides with average MOT test time of 45 minutes and servicing taking up to an hour."

Xpress Centres offer minor body repairs to vehicles which have no structural damage and do not require to be taken off the road into a traditional body shop.

Again customers will have to pre-book, having already provided images of their vehicle's damage.

"Once a vehicle is booked in for a convenient repair the focus is on completing the work on the same day," says the report. "On average a repair takes three to four hours and customers are provided with a courtesy car which allows them to go about their normal business."