Wednesday, March 1, 2017

News: Rival MSA plans on the horizon

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With plans for a proposed new £46m Motorway Services Area (MSA) at Junction 35 of the M1 in Sheffield finally set to go before the planning board, plans for a similar scheme a few miles away in Rotherham are being developed.

Landowners and developers believe that their site at Junction 33 of the M1 in Rotherham is preferable to the site at Smithy Wood, Cowley Hill just over the Rotherham border on the Chapeltown side of the motorway.

The Smithy Wood plans from operator, Extra MSA, have attracted opposition due to the impact on ancient woodland.

Now rival plans are coming forward from J33 Developments in a joint venture with Applegreen plc, a major petrol forecourt retailer in the Republic of Ireland with a significant and growing presence in the UK.

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A 7.25 hectare site, comprising of two areas of land at Junction 33 which are split by the M1 Motorway, has lapsed planning permission consent for a for a five storey hotel, a four storey hotel, a public house/restaurant, and a petrol filling station.

The plans, which date back to 2005, have not been built out and representations have been made through Rotherham's Local Plan Consultation to designate the site as suitable for a MSA. The Council has been considering removing the allocation.

The new proposals, which could include a hotel with a footprint of 4,400 sq ft and an amenity building with a footprint of 35,500 sq ft, are closely linked to a £45m plan to widen the Parkway to three lanes between the M1 and Catcliffe.
Indigo Planning, acting on behalf of the joint venture, state in its representations that the rival Extra MSA site at Junction 35 is "unsuitable for a MSA because it would constitute inappropriate development in the green belt and there are no very special circumstances which would clearly outweigh this harm. Furthermore, the development in the site would result in the loss of ancient woodland and a local wildlife site.

"The applicant's case that the need for a MSA outweighs any detrimental impacts cannot stand, given that an alternative site (ie Junction 33) is suitable and available for an MSA to satisfy this need.

"Given it is allocated and subject to an extant planning permission for uses found at a MSA, land at Junction 33 is clearly more appropriate for development than land at Junction 35. It is therefore the only available, suitable site to accommodate the required MSA."

Pegasus, on behalf of Extra MSA, have made representations stating that the Junction 33 site is too small for an MSA, that previous proposals don't constitute an MSA and there is not an acceptable highways solution.

Applegreen Plc and J33 Development are working on proposals to be the subject of a planning application later this year.

Applegreen plc website

Images: Applegreen / Indigo Planning


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