Residents' anger after plans for A1(M) service station resubmitted
PLANS to create a new service station on the A1(M) in North Yorkshire have been resubmitted - weeks after the company behind the proposals withdrew the plans.
Applegreen plc has lodged its proposals to create a Vale of York Motorway Service Area near Kirby Hill, Harrogate back with the local council after withdrawing the proposals just before Christmas.
The company says it withdrew its plans due to a “technicality with some internal stakeholders”.
The move has angered local residents who opposed the scheme. They say the resubmission of the plans means hundreds of objections made last autumn will not be carried forward and will need to be made all over again.
The campaign group Kirby Hill RAMS (Residents Against Motorway Services) have written to the planning authority and the Secretary of State, asking them to refuse to accept the new planning application, saying the company voluntarily withdrew the plans.
In a statement, the group said: “If it goes ahead, Applegreen’s new planning application would be the fifth proposal submitted for a Motorway Service Area (MSA) on the A1(M) at Kirby Hill since 1996.
“All the previous proposals have been opposed by Kirby Hill RAMS.
“Despite 22 years of planning applications, appeals, public inquiries and High Court cases, permission for an MSA at Kirby Hill has always been refused.
“Applegreen’s recent withdrawal of their planning application was hailed as a ‘victory for common sense’ by campaigners and was regarded as a shrewd business decision, given the controversy surrounding the project.”
Gareth Owens, Chairman of Kirby Hill RAMS, added: “Applegreen’s U-turn makes no sense at all. Why withdraw a planning application and then submit it again three weeks later, without any material change?”
Applegreen said its proposals will create 330 new jobs and all the buildings and parking areas would be on the western side of the A1(M) only.
It says an official Motorway Service Area at the location would be in accordance with the Government’s recommendations for adequate rest areas for drivers at distances no greater than every 28 miles. It says the current distance between Wetherby Services and the next full Motorway Service Area at Durham is more than 60 miles, although there is a Rest Area at Leeming Bar, 28 miles from Wetherby Services.
“Minimising our impact on the environment and the local landscape is a priority for us and we will deliver this through great design”, said Eugene Moore, chief development director for Applegreen.
“Our approach is to use new best practices to create a service area that is welcoming, offers value and is delivered while forging positive connections with the local community.”