Councillors say 'no' to 215 jobs scheme on Doncaster green belt

How the Moto station off the A1(M) could have looked.
How the Moto station off the A1(M) could have looked.

Controversial plans to create over 200 jobs with a motorway service station on Doncaster's green belt have been rejected.

Moto Hospitality had hoped to build a service station on the roundabout at junction 37 of the A!(M), which would have included a hotel, shops and food outlets including M&S.

But the scheme was thrown out by Doncaster Council's planning committee after residents raised concerns over issues including traffic and air pollution around the site.

Moto wanted to develop the services on what is currently agricultural land, and Doncaster Council planning officers had recommended the scheme should be approved, as they thought there was a special case for allowing the plan to go ahead even though it was on green belt.

Reasons cited by planning officer Mel Roberts for the special case included the 215 proposed jobs and the current distance between service stations on that stretch of road.

Moto property director Mark Franks told the committee that Government advice was that there should be service stations at least every 28 miles on motorways for safety reasons, so drivers can rest.

But objectors to the scheme had sent 53 letters of objection to the, and campaigner Rhonda Job told the committee residents were concerned over the scheme.

She pointed out that in terms of the rules for motorway service stations, the stretch between Redhouse and Ferrybridge was a trunk road, not a motorway, so should not be considered under the Government motorway recommendations.

She added there would be significant visual damage to the area and would see the loss of quality agricultural land, also raising concerns over air pollution that the project would bring by taking traffic onto the roundabout which she said was already congested.

She said: "The road is congested at peak times with queue of up to 50 vehicles. Slow moving traffic will compound congestion, and congestion will lead to increased air pollution, and the road from Hickleton to Marr has been described as the second worst in the borough."

Mr Franks said the scheme was important from a road safety point of view, and said the firm would be investing £40 million in the scheme which would create local jobs in its construction and operation. There had been no objection from highways experts.

He said the firm would plant 8,000 trees to screen the site from view.