The Weeknd: Blinding LightsiTunesAmazon

The Weeknd: Blinding LightsiTunesAmazon

Residents fight motorway services plan near Boroughbridge

Residents fight motorway services plan near Boroughbridge

Published by May Norman at 12:49pm 18th November 2019. (Updated at 12:34pm 19th November 2019)

Fight against motorway services continues.

  • Residents against plans for a motorway services off the A1 near Boroughbridge are continuing their fight tomorrow.
  • For 23 years, those living near Kirby Hill have been fighting the proposals, claiming it's an inappropriate local for a major development.
  • Councillors will discuss the issue at a meeting tomorrow.

Outraged residents of the Boroughbridge area have vowed to fight plans for a proposed Motorway Service Area on the A1(M) near Kirby Hill should be approved.

Independent residents’ group Kirby Hill RAMS (Residents Against Motorway Services) claim  Harrogate Borough Council has performed a U-turn regarding the proposed site, which for 23 years has repeatedly been refused planning permission, because it was thought to be an inappropriate location for a major MSA development.

Now the plans are due to be considered at Planning Committee on Tuesday 19th November, with Planning Officers recommending approval.

RAMS has successfully represented the local community in opposing plans for a Motorway Service Area (MSA) at this site since 1996.

RAMS’ Chair, Gareth Owens, explains:

"For 23 years, we have worked closely with Harrogate Borough Council to ensure that the large-scale, open landscape north of Boroughbridge and Kirby Hill is not spoiled by a massive Motorway Service Area.

Over the years, this site has repeatedly been refused planning permission for an MSA by the Secretary of State after major Public Inquiries.

It was also rejected when the Applicant appealed to the High Court. Today, we feel utterly betrayed by our Council.

This greenfield site is not even allocated for development in the Harrogate District Local Plan, which is supposed to tell us where development will happen in our local area.

Yet HBC planners are ignoring this, as well as the long history of refusal, and have made a massive U-turn in order to recommend approval of the development.”

During the lst 23 years, there have been fives planning applications for ‘Vale of York’ motorway services on the A1(M) at Kirby Hill, near Boroughbridge. All previous proposals have been opposed by Kirby Hill RAMS, who have faced persistent attempts by developers to wear down local opposition.

The proposed site lies in open countryside just 750m north of the small rural village of Kirby Hill, with long-range views across it to the North Yorkshire Moors. 

Mr. Owens adds:

“Since the site isn’t allocated in our Local Plan, it is not acceptable and should be refused. In addition to significant harm to the landscape and to the small, rural village of Kirby Hill, we are concerned that an MSA at this site will draw staff and trade away from the market town of Boroughbridge, harming its economy.”

The latest planning application goes before Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee on 19th November and Kirby Hill RAMS will continue its fight.

Eugene Moore, Chief Development Officer at fuel company Applegreen, said: 

“There’s a clear and positive case for a new motorway service area (MSA) at the Vale of York.  It will improve safety and welfare for drivers by reducing the gaps between service areas along the A1(M), it will add more than £6 million of value to the local economy, and it will create more than 300 full-time job roles during operation.  But we recognise there have been local concerns, and our final designs directly respond to these.  

"The site footprint is significantly smaller than in previous schemes, all our buildings and parking areas are located well-away from local communities, and the scheme is set low into the landscape to minimise visual impacts.  As an online scheme – where the site is accessed only via the A1(M) – there will be minimal impact on local businesses and no impact on local roads.

"We believe this is a strong proposal, and one that will make travelling along the A1(M) safer for drivers without detrimental impacts on our nearest neighbours.”

Are you doing Dry January?