Thursday, November 14, 2019

News: Applegreen for go - £40m Rotherham motorway service area set for planning approval


Proposals for motorway service area that would create 300 jobs alongside the M1 in Rotherham are being recommended for approval by Council planners.

If approved, the decision would be a blow for the developers hoping to build a rival scheme further along the motorway in Sheffield.

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.

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 at Smithy Wood in Sheffield where a long-running planning battle continues.

A paper to the planning board at Rotherham Council states that the principle of a Motorway Service Area (MSA) on the Catcliffe site is considered acceptable, given its existing allocation for mixed use and the previous plans for a hotel and pub which were approved but never implemented.

Currently scrub land on either side of the motorway, the plans, produced by Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson, are for HGV parking and amenities to the north of the M1 with customer parking and amenities for other motorway users to the south of the M1, via an underpass.

The MSA would employ circa 300 staff and represent a circa £40m investment.


Overcoming converns from Highways England, access to the MSA would be from the roundabout junction via a new arm junction between the M1 Southbound off slip and A630 Rotherway. This would lie within the Green Belt.

Exit for the majority of traffic would be via a new access to Sheffield Parkway some 300m from the junction. This exit will create new traffic lanes on approach to the junction on Sheffield Parkway. An alternative exit for HGVs would be created via a new slip road to the A630 Rotherway.

Highway improvements would tie in to the £45m plan to widen the Parkway and deliver the first part of the widening scheme with the provision of three lanes on the A630 from the east of the MSA to and around J33.

The application has attracted a number of objections, mainly in terms of traffic impacts and the potential in restricting further developments in the area such as at the Sheffield Business Park and Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID).

Extra MSA, the promoter of the rival scheme has objected, believing that J33 is not a viable or deliverable location for an MSA.

With other conditions, such as limits on retail floorspace, planners conclude that the the principle of the development is acceptable, that the scheme conforms with local and national guidelines, that the proposed access is acceptable. Further issues around appearance will be addressed in subsequent detailed planning applications.

On transport issues, the planning report to the board states: "It is considered that the improvements to the A630, the roundabout of the A630 / A631 and the M1, would not adversely affect congestion on the highway network, but would improve the current situation, especially with the proposed Parkway widening scheme."

Applegreen website

Images: Applegreen / Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson


Anonymous,  November 14, 2019 at 1:51 PM  

To quote your own article it is already one of the busiest roads in the UK and they seem to be using the widening to three lanes of the parkway as a positive consequence of this MSA plan even though it was already planned.

Commuting is a nightmare already, and will be far worse if this scheme goes ahead. Not to mention the increase in local pollution from HGV's and the like.

This will also negatively impact future inward investment to the AMID too, time for a rethink before its too late!!

Dennis November 14, 2019 at 3:08 PM  

I hope, if they are built, that they are like Gloucester Services on the M5. They are built of local stone, have a proper green roof and look really great!
What are the chances?
Or will it look like any other one
ie unimaginative and bland.
They could represent all that is best about our area, for those passing through who might not otherwise know what we have here.

Anonymous,  November 14, 2019 at 9:18 PM  

Yeah this is really needed, that journey between Woodall and Woolley Edge services is a killer without a break

Anonymous,  November 21, 2019 at 12:48 PM  

More traffic on an already overloaded junction. I ask whoever is responsible for approving this project to spend a couple of hours at the junction at peak times. The traffic backs up to Handsworth and beyond and beyond, what sort of health effects must this have on the residents along the Parkway corridor.

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