More than 800 sign pe­ti­tion against new M42 ser­vice sta­tion in Shirley

Solihull News - - NEWS - CATHRINA HULSE cathrina. [email protected] reach­plc. com

A PE­TI­TION has been launched call­ing on Soli­hull Coun­cil to re­ject pro­pos­als to build a mo­tor­way ser­vice sta­tion in Shirley.

If ap­proved, the devel­op­ment would be the first ser­vices built lo­cally since 1999 when Hop­wood opened at junc­tion two of the M42 near Broms­grove.

Coun­cil­lor Ken Hawkins, ( Cons, Blythe) is cam­paign­ing against plans from de­vel­op­ers Ap­ple­tree to erect a ‘ sus­tain­able’ ser­vice sta­tion at junc­tion 4 of the M42, near Hock­ley Heath, cit­ing con­ges­tions fears.

His pe­ti­tion had reached more than 800 sig­na­tures at the time of go­ing to press.

In 2009 the then Sec­re­tary of State said there ‘ was a sig­nif­i­cant need for a new Mo­tor­way Ser­vice Area ( MSA) in this area for high­ways safety rea­sons’.

Res­i­dents have been in limbo since 2014 when two sep­a­rate plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions were lodged with the coun­cil to build two sta­tions.

Ex­tra MSA Group un­veiled pro­pos­als for a £ 65 mil­lion ser­vice sta­tion and ho­tel, cre­at­ing around 300 jobs, on 169 acres of land on both sides of the M42 be­tween junc­tions five and six, close to Birm­ing­ham Air­port and Cather­ine- deBarnes.

Ir­ish op­er­a­tor Ap­ple­green un­veiled pro­pos­als for a smaller MSA at junc­tion 4 of the M42 near Shirley.

The project, ex­pected to cre­ate 336 jobs, would com­prise a petrol sta­tion, ser­vices and pub­lic space and be ac­ces­si­ble to traf­fic in both di­rec­tions.

The pro­posal is a sixth of the size of the Ex­tra MSA plan and prom­ises to be more ‘ sus­tain­able’.

But the pe­ti­tion via Change. org says: “High­ways Eng­land in Au­gust held off any de­ter­mi­na­tion of the ap­pli­ca­tion by Soli­hull Coun­cil for just 3 months and de­vel­op­ers of a sim­i­lar MSA near to junc­tion 5 have writ­ten to the coun­cil seek­ing a date for de­ter­mi­na­tion of both MSA ap­pli­ca­tions to be set by mid Novem­ber 2018. The ap­pli­ca­tion for a MSA at junc­tion 4 would mean 75% of all traf­fic move­ments ne­go­ti­at­ing the al­ready busy traf­fic is­land with the main A34 dual car­riage­way, thereby cre­at­ing ad­di­tional con­ges­tion for com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial road users.

“In­vest­ment in the nearby Blythe Val­ley Park, which has per­mis­sion for 1,000 ad­di­tional news homes will be com­pro­mised through con­ges­tion an MSA will bring. Any MSA along this stretch of mo­tor­way must be self con­tained within the mo­tor­way bound­aries.”

De­vel­op­ers are seek­ing a de­ci­sion this month but the coun­cil says it won’t go to its plan­ning com­mit­tee un­til next year.

Coun Hawkins said: “The ap­pli­ca­tion for a mo­tor­way ser­vice area near junc­tion 4 of the M42 in Soli­hull is mov­ing on at pace. Although the case for an MSA ‘ some­where’ on the M42 be­tween Hop­wood and the NEC junc­tion is made, the lo­ca­tion is not.”

Coun­cil­lor Ken Hawkins, in­set above, is cam­paign­ing against plans for a mo­tor­way ser­vice sta­tion at J4 of the M42

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