Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Doncaster A1M motorway services planned blocked

Architect's impression of a planned new Moto service station Image copyright Moto Hospitality Ltd
Image caption Moto Hospitality have lost their fight for a new service station off the A1M/ A635

Campaigners locked in a "David and Goliath" battle have won their fight to stop a new motorway service station being built in South Yorkshire.

Moto Hospitality Ltd wanted to build the new site on green belt land near junction 37 of the A1M.

Opponents, who feared the development would have caused major traffic disruption, said they were "over the moon" to have won.

Government planners ruled against Moto this week.

Moto's plans included a petrol station, drive-through Costa Coffee, Greggs, M&S Simply Food, WH Smith, Burger King, an Arlo's restaurant, a games centre and a 562-space car park.

The company appealed after its proposals, first submitted in February 2017, were rejected by Doncaster council.

'Uphill battle'

Campaigner Rhonda Job said campaigners had to "cancel family Christmases" in order to prepare for key meetings and a six-day hearing last December.

In their decision to reject Moto's appeal, a government planning inspector said the need for a motorway service station "attracts limited weight" in terms of economic benefits.

It would also have harmed the green belt, landscape and countryside, they added.

Ms Job, chairman of a group which represents 16 villages in west Doncaster, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service they had faced an uphill battle.

"Fundamentally, we believed that this planning application was so wrong, it was an awful, awful time but we managed to get through it," she said.

Cynthia Ransome, a councillor for Sprotbrough ward, which covers the site, said the development would have caused major disruption on the roads and destroyed top-class agricultural land.

She praised campaigners for their "diligence, knowledge and tenacity".

The group's secretary Pam Moorhouse added: "It is crucially important that ordinary people can have their say, even though it sometimes takes a personal toll and comes at enormous personal cost.

"This was most definitely a true David and Goliath situation."

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