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Developers launch new bid to build M42 Solihull service station

Developers launch new bid to build M42 Solihull service station

🕔04.Dec 2014

Plans for a new service station on the M42 near Solihull which have proved highly contentious in the past are back on the table.

Developers Extra MSA are consulting on a proposal to build Solihull Services to the West of the M42 and south of Solihull Road near to Birmingham Airport at a cost of £65 million.

Similar applications over the past 20 years led to lengthy battles with environmentalists and some local councillors opposing the idea.

Thirteen Years ago the then Environment Secretary concluded after a public inquiry that there was an overwhelming unmet need for an additional M42 service station area and that he was minded to grant planning permission, subject to the resolution of outstanding issues in relation to access arrangements.

The public inquiry re-opened in 2008 and concluded that although the need for an additional service station still existed the potential impact on the safe operation of the proposed pilot scheme for Active Traffic Management on the M42 was such that it could put at risk the ATM pilot scheme for the whole of the UK.

It will be up to Solihull Council to make a decision on the latest application, which Extra MSA say will create 300 new jobs. A new junction off the motorway will link to the site and there will be no vehicle access from local roads.

The developers described the proposal as the latest in a “new generation” of architect-designed motorway service areas “high quality, sustainable buildings, which respect their local environment, with the need to ensure the quality of the customer experience is placed at the heart of the scheme”.

Andrew Long, chief executive of Extra MSA, said construction work can begin in early 2016 with a completion date of mid-2017, if planning permission is granted next year.

He added:  “Motorway services are a commercial enterprise, but they also play a significant role in the safety and welfare of road users.

“Government policy aims to ensure that there is opportunity to stop and take a break at intervals of no more than 30 minutes, typically 28 miles. Existing distances between service areas on this part of the Midland motorway network considerably exceed this maximum gap.  The proposal will meet a significant need for a new service area and is long overdue.”

Leaflets are being distributed to nearby homes outlining the proposals. Two exhibitions have been arranged where members of the project team will be on hand to listen to the public’s view on the proposed plans as well as answer any questions they may have.

There is also a project website where material which will be available and the exhibition can be viewed:  www.solihullmotorwayservices.co.uk

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