“The proposed Motorway Service Area will provide investment, hundreds of jobs and opportunities for businesses to provide locally sourced produce.”
That is the message to local residents from Applegreen’s head of developments Des Stafford as plans for a proposed Motorway Service Area (MSA) at Junction 4 of the M42 near Shirley are put forward.
Observer reporter Aisling Kiely went along to the public consultation at Dorridge Village Hall to hear local residents have their say.
Tony Davis, who has lived in the Dorridge for nearly 40 years, said there is a need for a service station along the stretch of the motorway.
He added: “It is required because there is too big a gap between the existing service stations on the M40 and M42.
“Despite this, I’m worried about traffic implications around Gate Lane – the road which is going to form the exit from this new development – as more lorries and cars will be using this route and fear the road will not be able to take the strain.”
Applegreen’s plan proposes to stretch Gate Lane into three lanes and put a small roundabout in place to accommodate with the flow of traffic approaching the motorway.
Graham Baskill, another resident pleased with the potential plans, said: “Out of the two proposed schemes, the Catherine-De-Barnes site on Junction 5 and this one on Junction 4, I feel as though this one is much more environmentally friendly.
“I’m pleased with the layout of the area and feel as though it is very sympathetic to the area.
“I’ve seen the services in Gloucester, which are designed in a similar way, and I appreciate the way it has been built to blend in with the surrounding areas.
But, David Roberts, who has been heavily involved in the borough in the past, said he isn’t keen on the plans.
He added: “The services are further erosion to the green fields which are threatened all around us in Dorridge.
“There are a number of traffic issues that are likely to be caused and the roundabout is likely to be under a lot of strain.”
The developers – who plan to build within the green belt area – have adopted design principles from the Gloucester services, between junctions 11a and 12 of the M5, and plan to build a grass covered roof and canopies to help blend buildings into the surrounding countryside.
The sustainable site will only take up 20 acres of land in the green belt area as oppose to much larger land intake in Catherine-De-Barnes.
The proposed plans for the MSA are currently in consultation, but if all goes accordingly, the plans could be handed over to the council for review as early as September.
Feedback on the proposals can be left online at www.applegreenM42msa.info or via Feedback Forms by August 12.