Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire M5 service station decision challenged

Artist's impression
Image caption The developers have said 300 jobs will be created by the scheme

Two service station operators want a legal review of the granting of planning permission for another facility on the M5.

Welcome Break and Roadchef claim planning permission for the £35m scheme at Brookthorpe, Gloucestershire, was granted unlawfully.

Stroud District Council gave the project the go-ahead on 17 December and said it would contest the challenge.

A previous request for a public inquiry into the decision was turned down.

Locally-sourced food

In the letter calling for a judicial review, the companies say an objection they submitted to the plans - based on analysis of the need for another service area - was not fully considered by the council in granting permission.

They say another reason they are calling for a review is that the council failed to consider an objection by Natural England, which said the proposals would have a significant effect on the landscape of the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,

The council has said it would not consent to the High Court quashing its decision.

In a response to the two companies, the council said: "Need was one of the key issues, and the officers in their report to the committee and the members in their deliberations treated it as such."

The service station, a joint venture between Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT) and Westmorland Limited, will be part-operated by a charity.

They have said the services will create 300 new jobs for the area and serve locally-sourced food.

A percentage of profits will be distributed by GGT to local voluntary groups.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) had requested a public inquiry into the decision, saying the service station would affect the beauty of the countryside.

But Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said he saw no reason to hold an inquiry.

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