Skip to content

Plans for new Tebay-style motorway service area given green light by Cheshire East Council

The authority's Strategic Planning Board has voted in favour of the new Tatton Services motorway service area at Junctions 7 and 8 of the M56.

Plans for a major new Tebay-style motorway service area on Green Belt close to the Bowdon Roundabout have been given the green light by Cheshire East Council.

The authority's Strategic Planning Board has voted in favour of the new Tatton Services motorway service area at Junctions 7 and 8 of the M56.

The Tatton Services partnership is a joint venture between Westmorland Family, known for its facilities at Tebay Services on the M6, Gloucester Services on the M5 and Cairn Lodge Services on the M74, and the Tatton Estate.

The major new development will include a fuel refilling station, a farm shop and kitchen, a 100-bed hotel and 96 EV charging spaces.

The project - which must now be ratified by the government as it is located on Green Belt land - will also generate 325 new jobs.

Tatton Services Ltd last year submitted plans to build the new service station area on a 39-acre Green Belt site previously part-occupied by Yarwood Heath Farm.

It's predicted that four million customers would visit the facility annually, generating £36million in annual turnover.

The new project would create 325 jobs

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".

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."

And following this week's decision, Bridget Green, Green Party campaigner for Bowdon, said: “There has to be a ‘special reason’ to build on green belt and this isn’t it. Residents and businesses in Bowdon, Hale and Altrincham, have expressed concern to us on the impact to our local village and town centre shops. In effect, this is an out-of-town retail development by the back door.

The Green Party say the development would be an "out-of-town retail development by the back door"

"Residents have told us very clearly that a new motorway service station is not needed on this site. The Secretary of State now needs to step in and take these concerns more seriously.”

But Sarah Dunning, Chair of Westmorland Limited, said the new service area was "designed to integrate sensitively with its surroundings, within a site contained by existing road infrastructure, whilst delivering biodiversity enhancement, sustainable water management features and improved connectivity for cyclist and pedestrians".

She added: "We’re delighted and are fully committed to building Tatton Services, which will celebrate Cheshire and all that it has to offer.

"The services will create quality jobs and support local producers and communities alongside meeting the growing needs of electric car drivers.

"We are grateful for the engagement and support received from local councillors, businesses, residents, and the local community and look forward to bringing our unique model of motorway services to the M56.

"We started our business from our family’s hill farm in Cumbria in 1972. Today we run motorway services, but the way we do it still reflects and celebrates our beginnings.”

The project team includes Pegasus Group, Howells, Planit Landscape Architects BWB and Ramboll.