Plans for a new motorway service station and hotel close to the Bowdon Roundabout look set to be given the green light - despite objections from Trafford Council about the "potential impact on Altrincham, Hale and Bowdon".
Tatton Services Ltd – the company behind the award-winning Tebay and Gloucester Services – last year submitted plans to build the new service station on a 39-acre Green Belt site previously part-occupied by Yarwood Heath Farm, close to junctions 7 and 8 of the M56.
Now planning officers at Cheshire East Council have recommended the scheme for approval, ahead of a meeting next week. The final decision will be subject to approval from the government.
Following a similar concept to Tebay and Gloucester Services, the new service station would include a farm shop and kitchen, a retail area and indoor children’s play area.
There would also be a 100-bedroom hotel, a fuel barn with 12 traditional pumps and 96 electric charging points, a kitchen garden and extensive outdoor seating spaces. The existing farmhouse on the site, currently in a poor condition, will be renovated.
Tatton Services, which is an 80/20 partnership between the Westmorland Family and the Tatton Estate, would create over 500 jobs and it's predicted that four million customers would visit the facility annually, generating £36million in annual turnover.
The plans attracted considerable opposition from local residents, with around 69 representations against the proposal and 25 in favour.
Trafford Council also objected to the plans, saying it would be "inappropriate
development in the Green Belt, harming openness and visual amenity", adding there would be "no very special circumstances that would outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and other harm".
Rebecca Coley, the authority's Head of Planning and Development, added: "Trafford Council also raises concern about the potential impact on Altrincham, Hale and Bowdon centres, and the impact of additional traffic on roads within Trafford."
Another objection came from Bowdon Conservation Group, who said: "There is no justification for the harm this development would cause to the Green Belt and the neighbouring communities of Hale, Altrincham and Bowdon, and on this basis the
application should be refused."
It added: "We are deeply concerned about the impact the proposed Motorway Service Area (MSA) would have on independent traders in the Altrincham food market."
But in recommending the scheme for approval, planning officers at Cheshire East Council said that although it would be an "inappropriate" development in the Green Belt, the harm was "clearly outweighed by the need for the proposal".
The council cited economic benefits, opportunities for local businesses and employment opportunities.
The plans will be discussed by Cheshire East Council's strategic planning board on October 25th.