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Proposed Tebay-style motorway service area near Bowdon Roundabout faces government inquiry

The developers behind the scheme have criticised the delay.

Plans for a major new Tebay-style motorway service area on Green Belt close to the Bowdon Roundabout have been delayed after the government called for an inquiry.

In October, Cheshire East Council voted in favour of the new Tatton Services motorway service area at Junctions 7 and 8 of the M56.

A joint venture between Westmorland Family, known for its facilities at Tebay Services on the M6 and Gloucester Services on the M5, and the Tatton Estate, the major new development would include a fuel refilling station, a farm shop and kitchen, a 100-bed hotel and 96 EV charging spaces.

Opposition to the plans have now led to Michael Gove, the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities (DLUHC), calling in the decision, meaning the Planning Inspectorate will now assess the project at an inquiry beginning on October 15th.

Tatton Estates and Westmorland Group criticised the delay.

A spokesman said: “Tatton Services is an amazing project and first and foremost we would like to thank everyone who has supported this exciting project and the resulting jobs for Cheshire so far, especially Cheshire East Council.

A visual showing how the Tatton Services would look

“Whilst we are obviously disappointed by the inevitable delay from the government, taking away the decision from the locally elected leaders who had already approved it, we remain steadfastly committed to the project.

“We will continue to make the case to decision makers so people can benefit from the local jobs, sustainable growth and vital road safety improvements this project will secure.

“Delivering the unique Westmorland Family model, Tatton Services is a truly sustainable solution to a very large gap on the M56 and M62 motorways around Manchester in both directions."

Another visual showing the proposals

If it gets the green light, the scheme will generate 325 new jobs and attract an expected four million customers annually, generating £36million in annual turnover.

Trafford Council was one of those to object 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."