23rd Oct, 2019

Decision still on hold over m42 services stations six months after first planning meeting tabled

Sarah Mason 18th Sep, 2019

A decision on whether to allow a motorway services to be built on the M42 in Solihull is still undecided six months after plans were originally set to go to council chiefs for a decision.

The proposals detail plans for a stop-off at junction 4 in Shirley or on land between Hampton-in-Arden and Catherine-de-Barnes were first submitted to the planning department in 2016 and 2015 respectively, have both been held off for several years.

However six months on plans are still waiting to be heard as the developers are gathering additional information in relation to highways matters, according to Solihull Council.

In March the plans – which came up against fierce criticism from residents, Meriden MP Dame Caroline Spelman and councillors – were finally set to be heard by Solihull planning committee at a special meeting.

But the meeting was postponed after Applegreen Plc, the company behind the junction 4 scheme, which asked for the matter to be deferred.

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

Since then one other meeting set to be held in June was postponed to allow for additional information on highways matters to be handed to the council by one of the applicants.

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

Those against the plans say 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 need for a services along that stretch of motorway.

Extra MSA Group, which has 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 said: “A date is yet to be set for planning committee to hear the applications for two new motorway service areas.

“This is because we are still awaiting additional information from one of the applicants in relation to highways matters.”

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