Councillors make decision on plans for multi-million motorway services near Boroughbridge

Harrogate councillors have thrown out plans for a new multi-million-pound motorway service area on the A1(M) near Boroughbridge.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 6:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 6:48 pm

The borough council’s planning committee had been recommended to approve the plans at Kirby Hill by forecourt operator Applegreen when it met this afternoon.

Instead, the councillors voted by 10 votes against to none to refuse planning permission. There was one abstention. More than 150 people had objected to the plans for the service area, the fifth attempt to build a rest stop in the area near Boroughbridge in the last 23 years.

Applegreen said the service station would add more than £6 million to the local economy and create more than 300 jobs. The scheme was opposed, as the other attempts to open a motorway service area (MSA) had been, by the Kirby Hill RAMS (Residents Against Motorway Services).

Harrogate councillors have thrown out plans for a new multi-million-pound motorway service area on the A1(M) near Boroughbridge.

Gareth Owens, who leads the group, told the Harrogate Advertiser that they had put their faith in the councillors. He said: “Our elected representatives did not let us down today. We were confident we had a strong case to make, we made it to the councillors and hoped they would share our concerns, and they did.”

The three areas of concern that the group put to the councillors were that the site was not located in the Local Plan, the MSA would be too close to existing services and, in Mr Owens words, it would “destroy 47 acres of prime Yorkshire countryside”. Mr Owens added: “You need a very strong argument to go against a planning officers advice and we felt we had a very strong argument and the councillors agreed.

“This is the fifth time an application has been submitted for this site. Each time a different operator comes along and thinks they will have a go but this is the most controversial MSA site in the UK and every operator who has tried has failed.”

Applegreen has the right to appeal the council’s decision to a planning inspector. Eugene Moore, chief development officer at Applegreen, said: “We’re disappointed by Harrogate Borough Council’s decision. We believe this is a strong proposal, that will make travelling along the A1(M) safer for drivers without detrimental impacts on our nearest neighbours. We’ll review the decision and assess our next steps.”