PLANS for a new ‘environmentally responsible’ Motorway Service Area (MSA) at land adjacent to junction 4 of the M42 near Shirley, which will create more than 300 local jobs, have been submitted to Solihull Council.
The proposal, by Applegreen plc, includes a new amenity building with a grass covered canopy and extensive on and off-site landscaping including earth mounds and tree planting that will screen the facility from the M42 and communities to the east of the site.
The plans also include significant improvements to local roads, including the junction between the A3400 and Gate Lane.
The firm believes the location and compact nature of the site represents an innovative design solution to fulfil the confirmed need to have a motorway service area along this stretch of M42.
The proposal is for an ‘off-line’ facility which makes use of an existing junction and roundabout and does not require building new road infrastructure, making it an environmentally responsible solution.
The project will create more than 300 new jobs for local people, including management, retail, operations and maintenance roles.
Recruitment will begin if and when planning permission is granted and construction of the project will take around nine months.
Applegreen’s vision is to create a motorway service area that is environmentally sustainable, has been specifically designed to minimise its impact on the local landscape and Green Belt and creates benefit for surrounding communities.
Des Stafford, Head of Developments UK for Applegreen said: “We listened to local concerns, in particular those regarding how traffic would be managed and the impact on local roads.
“As a result, we have undertaken significant and detailed traffic modelling studies that have been included with our application.
“These studies demonstrate the road infrastructure works we propose will adequately cater for traffic using the motorway service area. “In particular, the way that traffic is fed into dedicated lanes from the motorway slip roads, widening the roundabout and upgrading the junction to Gate Lane ensures that our project will not result in undue congestion for local residents.”
* In 2009 the then the Secretary of State confirmed that there was a significant need for a new MSA along this stretch of the M42 for highways safety reasons.