Thursday, January 25, 2018

News: Rivals object to £40m Rotherham motorway service area plans

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The applicants behind rival proposals for a new motorway service area (MSA) on the M1 in Sheffield have lodged an objection to outline plans for a new MSA in Rotherham.

Rothbiz revealed first that landowners and developers believe that their site at Junction 33 of the M1 at Catcliffe in Rotherham is preferable to the site at Junction 35 in Sheffield where a long-running planning battle continues.

Applegreen plc, a major petrol forecourt retailer in the Republic of Ireland with a significant and growing presence in the UK, submitted outline plans to Rotherham Council in September 2017. The proposals would create 300 jobs.

The Smithy Wood plans from operator, Extra MSA, have attracted opposition due to the impact on ancient woodland. It is understood that a decision on the Sheffield plans is unlikely to be made before one is made on the Rotherham plans.

As it travels through the planning process, Highways England, the Government-owned company that operates, maintains and improves England's motorways and major A roads, has asked for further details on the proposals and its impacts on the M1 and the A630 Parkway. This is likely to delay any decision on the plans for six months.

Extra MSA believe that Junction 33 is "not a viable or deliverable location for an MSA," having ruled the site out themselves before selecting their own site at Junction 35. The firm said that this was based on being unable to design safe and satisfactory access and the various physical constraints such as the underpass to link the two sides of the site.

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The firm goes on to highlight that an MSA could add somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 additional traffic movements per day to the junction which would have a significantly adverse impact.

The Parkway from Rotherham to Sheffield is one of the most congested routes in the UK. £1.4m was secured from the Department for Transport (DfT) to develop plans for the area. Work has taken place to widen exit slip roads and roundabouts at Junction 33 and Rotherham's capital strategy includes a £45m plan to widen the Parkway to three lanes between the M1 and Catcliffe.

In its objection letter, Extra MSA goes on to say: "Looking more widely, there is little doubt that locating a new MSA facility at Junction 33 would seriously impede the ongoing development of the regionally significant Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District by consuming much needed Junction capacity that could otherwise be used by higher value developments."

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Sheffield Business Park have also lodged objections, raising concerns on its impact on the development of the Sheffield-Rotherham Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID).

Richard Wright, executive director at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: "Junctions 33 and 34 are critical junctions for Sheffield and Rotherham. They are on the main access routes between our two conurbations and are critical to the development of important economic areas including the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) which is in both Sheffield and Rotherham.

"We have serious concern about the increase in traffic volumes put forward by the application.

"We can see no allowance made for the increase in traffic caused by the successful exploitation of the AMP and AMID."

In its application, Applegreen included a detailed transport assessment which concluded that, with the new lanes and junction improvements, there would not be an exacerbation of current traffic conditions at Junction 33.

A decision on the plans is not expected until after March 30 2018.

Applegreen website

Images: Applegreen / Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson

3 comments:

Anonymous,  January 25, 2018 at 10:40 AM  

No surprise there then, Anything that Rotherham aspires to gets objected too!

Anonymous,  January 25, 2018 at 2:25 PM  

Well of course the usual suspect Sheffield organisations are going to object.... They won’t be getting the revenue from it and the rival company will lose revenue also. That’s the thing with Sheffield... as long as they are the centre of attention who gives a toss about anywhere else. You would think Sheffield would learn from the devolution issue when other authority areas are sticking their heels in because it always ends up being about Sheffield.

Anonymous,  February 19, 2018 at 7:34 PM  

Not enough Kickbacks in the SCC pockets to say Yes

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