CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new Motorway Service Area (MSA) in the heart of the Solihull countryside – between Hampton in Arden and Catherine de Barnes – have been unveiled.
The £65 million project – which if given planning permission would create 300 permanent jobs when open and additional jobs during construction – would be located on a parcel of land between the M42 and Solihull Road (pictured), but will only be accessible from the M42 following the provision of a new £12 million junction.
Solihull Road itself would have to be raised to travel over the MSA access road.
The proposals by Extra MSA Group represent the latest of a ‘new generation’ of architect-designed MSAs designed to combine ‘high quality, sustainable buildings, which respect their local environment, with the need to ensure the quality of the customer experience is placed at the heart of the scheme’.
Andrew Long, chief executive of Extra MSA, said the need for this MSA was recognised in 2001, and again in 2009, by the Secretary of State and that construction work could begin in early 2016 if planning permission is granted next year.
If approved it would take approximately 12 months to complete the construction and the MSA could be open for mid-2017.
Previous proposals for MSAs along the Solihull stretch of the M42 have been thrown out by the Secretary of State, although he agreed there was a need for one.
The applications sparked outrage among the neighbouring communities and a similar response is sure to come as soon as news breaks of the plans which were a guarded secret until today (Thursday).
Leaflets are being distributed to nearby homes outlining the proposals.
Two exhibitions have also been arranged where members of the project team will be on hand to listen to the public’s view on the proposed plans as well as answer any questions they may have.
The first exhibition is at Catney Village Hall in Catherine de Barnes on Friday, December 12 from 2.30pm to 8.30pm while the second will take place at The Ramada George Hotel in Solihull on Saturday, December 13 from 10am to 4pm.
There is also a project website – www.solihullmotorwayservices.co.uk – where material which will be available at the exhibition can be viewed.
The Consultation will close on Monday, January, 12.
What do you think? E-mail the editor – firstname.lastname@example.org – with your views.
For all the reaction on the plans make sure you read next week’s paper.
Where it will sit on the motorway network.