Residents in the right over A1M service station fight – The Yorkshire Post says

THERE is a reason why separate plans for a motorway service station off the A1M at Boroughbridge have been rejected five times by elected local councillors – and it is that they believe, rightly, that such a development is incompatible with the surrounding area and nearby homes.

Should more service stations be built along the A1M?

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'Final showdown' in bid to stop motorway services

It is why they voted 10-0, with one abstention, to defy planning officers at Harrogate Borough Council who had, in fact, recommended that the scheme, put forward by developer Applegreen, be approved.

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And it is also worth acknowledging, after the applicant recently lodged an appeal in order to trigger a public inquiry, that it is unusual for councillors to turn down a development which would generate up to £6m for the local economy and create 300 jobs.

An aerial view of the proposed Kirby Hill development.

As Kirby Hill RAMS (Residents Against Motorway Services) prepare for the latest stage in this long-running battle, it will also be regrettable if the Planning Inspectorate ignores the consistent approach that councillors – elected to represent local residents – have taken over two decades.

That said, the volume of traffic on the A1M does meet the criteria for further facilities, in addition to the stop-off at Bedale, on the 40-mile stretch between existing services at Wetherby and Scotch Corner.

Yet, given the number of former petrol stations and Little Chef outlets that have closed for either economic reasons, or to make way for the upgrade of the A1, these sites could, potentially, be brought back into use to meet the needs of motorists without turning the countryside into one giant service station.