Extra wins appeal for £75m M62 services on Green Belt
Warrington Council had refused the outline application from Extra MSA Group in June 2021, against the recommendations from planning officers.
Extra’s proposed services include a 100-bed hotel, fuel filling station and food court. There would also be parking for 536 cars and electric vehicle charging stations. It will be set on 38 acres of Green Belt by Junction 11 of the M62, next to the restored Risley Landfill.
It was the Green Belt location which proved contentious with the council, which decided that the benefits of the MSA did not outweigh the harm in its decision to refuse the application last year.
The council then changed its mind in February, opting to endorse the conclusion of its own planning officers that the benefits did, in fact, outweigh the harm. Warrington shared this opinion during its opening statement at the beginning of the inquiry, which was held in March.
As a result, Extra won the appeal and has achieved outline permission for the scheme.
Shoosmiths acted for Extra on the appeal.
Kathryn Jump, partner and joint-head of Shoosmiths’ planning practice, said: “This is an important decision – providing travellers with a safe space to stop while travelling along the motorway. The services could also generate an estimated net additional GVA of over £8m a year.”
The project was designed by Architecture 519. When plans had initially been submitted in 2019, Extra chief executive Andrew Long had said the MSA would “endorse a new standard for motorway service areas in the UK”.
Spawforths was the planning consultant for the scheme. The project team also included Wardell Armstrong, I-Transport, SLR Consulting, Zerum, and Sanders Studios.
The application’s reference number with Warrington Council is 2019/35726. The reference number with the planning inspectorate for the appeal is APP/M0655/W/21/3288180.