Junction M MSA, Moto Hospitality, c Google Earth and planning

The proposed Moto Hospitality MSA would sit off Junction 2 of the M55 outside Preston. Credit: Google Earth and planning documents

Moto bolsters services plan by Preston

Amping up biodiversity net gain, the company has expanded its plans for a services complex site off Junction 2 of the M55 from 17 acres to 34.

Moto Hospitality has put in for an environmental impact assessment screening opinion for its proposals with Preston City Council. The local authority had deemed an EIA unnecessary in 2023 for the smaller version of the plan. The doubling of the site has necessitated another EIA screening request.

So why the increase in size? The initial screening opinion only covered the area that would feature the buildings themselves, not the access or land required to meet drainage requirements. When these were factored in, the relevant site grew to 24 acres.

Adding nearly 10 acres reserved explicitly for BNG saw the amount of land needed expand to 34 acres. This increase in space will allow Moto to deliver more than the 10% BNG required – the company is actually targeting 20%.

As for the services centre itself, the initial plans remain unchanged. Moto still hopes to build a large amenity facility with restaurants and convenience retail. A separate gas station with its own convenience unit is also part of the plans – as is a dedicated HGV fuel filling station. There would be parking for more than 360 cars, according to Moto’s planning consultant PWA.

Space for a children’s play area is still accounted for, as is an area for dog owners and visitors to explore.

Jess Lockwood, property director at Moto, stressed that the company’s plans for the M55 services is still in its early stages.

“That said, our vision for the site is ambitious,” Lockwood said.

“Our plans will be environmentally conscious, with large areas set aside for biodiversity, wildlife habitats, and green space, and include sustainably built facilities, meeting both the existing needs of the strategic road network and ensuring road users can transition to clean, sustainable energy in the future.”

Lockwood went on to add that an “extensive public consultation exercise” on the proposal would take place once the plans are more developed.

Currently the land Moto is interested in is used for grazing. It is all open countryside.

The closest motorway service areas to the proposed Moto are more than 14 miles away. They are the Lancaster MSA on M6 North and the Charnock Richard MSA on M6 South.

You can learn more about the project by searching application reference number 06/2024/0380 on Preston City Council’s planning portal.

Your Comments

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So, instead of bringing footfall to all the new development around the Broughton junction (including a Lidl, costa and subway), as well as the existing Phantom Winger, a new services on greenfield land? The existing services serve M55 traffic perfectly well, this 12-mile long motorway doesn’t need a service station.

By Anonymous

Lets hope they make it a nice one with hopefully some water features and landscaping that turns it into a worthwhile destination.

By Bentley Driver

Complete nonsense there’s enough amenities in the local area without desecrating more of the countryside. For God’s sake stop concreting over everything.

By Anonymous

It is a good idea to build a new services on the m55 has services on the m6 are very busy

By Smith

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