20th Jun, 2019

Controversial motorway service station decision on hold for second time

Sarah Mason 10th Jun, 2019 Updated: 10th Jun, 2019

A DECISION on whether to allow a motorway service station to be built in Solihull on the M42 has been put on ice for a second time.

Two rival schemes for the M42 were due to be considered at a special planning committee meeting on Wednesday, June 19.

The proposals – which came up against fierce criticism from residents, Meriden MP Dame Caroline Spelman and councillors – detail plans for a stop-off at junction 4 in Shirley or on land between Hampton-in-Arden and Catherine-de-Barnes.

Decisions on the applications, which were first submitted to the planning department in 2016 and 2015 respectively, have both been held off for several years.

But the decision has been delayed for a second time.

Initially it was hoped the plans would be dealt with in March, but the decision was postponed after one of the applicants – Applegreen Plc – asked for more time.

Originally the committee had been due to make a decision on March 27, but the meeting was postponed after Applegreen Plc, the company behind the junction 4 scheme, asked for its item to be deferred.

When March’s meeting was cancelled, Solihull Council said it had taken legal advice and agreed to put the meeting back.

The council had previously made clear it would consider the separate proposals together.

Those against the plans either development would add to existing traffic problems in the area and destroy the local greenbelt land.

However both applicants argue there is a clear for a services along that stretch of motorway.

Extra MSA Group, who have applied for the services on land near Hampton-in-Arden and Catherine-de-Barnes, said it would create up to 300 jobs with a bus service available for employees and build not only the services but also a hotel and a new access road.

Applegreen plc wants to create an ‘environmentally responsible’ motorway services near Shirley with a new building and extensive landscaping.

A Solihull Council spokesperson told the Observer a new date will be set.

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