Plans for Gloucestershire M5 service station approved
Planning permission has been granted for a new motorway service station on the M5 in Gloucestershire.
Stroud district councillors voted six to four in favour of the £35m scheme on a site between junctions 11a and 12 of the motorway near Brookthorpe.
The developers said the facility would create 300 new jobs for the area and serve locally-sourced food.
Opponents said it would spoil the area and they may seek a judicial review into the legality of the decision.
Jo Casling, from the Campaign Against Motorway Service Area (Campsa), said she felt shocked and let down by Stroud district council.
"I cannot understand how they can justify building a motorway service station," she said.
"It will provide a handful of jobs and the cost outweighs the benefit coming from it.
"It will not bring anything to the local community. It will destroy the landscape and potentially take jobs away from the other two service stations (at Michaelwood and Strensham)."
End Quote Sarah Dunning Westmorland Ltd
We have 38 years of experience of delivering local benefit in Cumbria and we look forward to doing the same in Gloucestershire”
Councillor Phil Bevan, the Conservative councillor for Stonehouse, said: "Whilst I fully understand the disappointment of those who opposed the development, the benefits to those in my ward will be enormous and I will work closely with the company to ensure the best for my constituents."
The service station, a joint venture between Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT) and Westmorland Limited, is unusual in that it would be part-operated by a charity.
A percentage of profits would be distributed by GGT to local voluntary groups.
Westmorland Ltd, which runs Tebay services in Cumbria, said the Gloucestershire scheme would be eco-friendly and commit to high levels of local sourcing.
Chief executive Sarah Dunning said: "Our focus is all about promoting local.
"We have 38 years experience of delivering local benefit in Cumbria and we look forward to doing the same in Gloucestershire."