Greggs services M1: Greggs refused permission to open outlet at M1 services due to greenbelt concerns

Greggs has been refused permission to open new outlets at two service stations by Wakefield Council.

Planning officers rejected plans at Woolley Edge, on the M1, and Darrington, on the A1, due to the impact on surrounding greenbelt land. The bakery chain applied to build new drive-thru premises at the Moto Hospitality northbound services at Woolley Edge.

Permission was sought to change the parking layout to accommodate the facility and provide indoor seating for 32 customers. Planning policy does not allow development in the greenbelt unless “very special circumstances” can be identified.

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An application submitted on behalf of the company said the existing car park represented previously developed land. It also said the new business would be “small scale” and “in keeping with the existing nature of the site”. It argued that there would be no encroachment on surrounding countryside and the visual impact of the premises would be “minimised”.

Woolley Edge Services. Picture by GoogleWoolley Edge Services. Picture by Google
Woolley Edge Services. Picture by Google

A planning statement said 80 per cent of service stations in UK now have drive-thru food outlets. It said customer demand has increased since the pandemic when social distancing was in place. A Greggs shop is currently based in the main services building but was due to be replaced by a new Pret a Manger sandwich shop.

An officer’s report said the scheme was “inappropriate development”.

It added: “The proposal, being located in an area currently used for parking, would have a harmful impact on the openness of the greenbelt.”

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Plans to install a temporary “Greggs Pod” building on a car park at Welcome Break services, on the A1 southbound at Darrington, were also rejected. The scheme included replacing an office building with the new unit as part of plans to modernise the services.

The application sought permission for the structure for two years, but an officer’s report said the new premises would be double the size of the existing office building. Refusing the scheme, the officer said: “By virtue of its scale, the proposed development would have a greater impact on the greenbelt.”

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