TWO CONTROVERSIAL plans to build motorway service areas on the M42 through Solihull are finally set to be discussed by planning chiefs.
The proposals – which came up against fierce criticism from residents, Meriden MP Dame Caroline Spelman and Councillors – detail plans for a stop-off at junction 4 in Shirley or on land between Hampton-in-Arden and Catherine-de-Barnes.
Decisions on the applications, which were first submitted to the planning department in 2016 and 2015 respectively, have both been held off for several years.
Now a date has finally been fixed for the committee to debate the plans, with a special planning meeting being held on March 27.
The council had previously made clear that it would consider the separate proposals together.
Those against the plans either development would add to existing traffic problems in the area and destroy the local greenbelt land.
However both applicants argue there is a clear for a services along that stretch of motorway.
Extra MSA Group, who have applied to for the services on land near Hampton-in-Arden and Catherine-de-Barnes, said it would create up to 300 jobs with a bus service available for employees and build not only the services but also a hotel and a new access road.
Applegreen plc want to create an ‘environmentally responsible’ motorway services near Shirley with a new building and extensive landscaping.
A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “A special Planning Committee has been organised on March 27 to discuss two planning applications for motorway service areas in the borough. “Due to the complexity of the applications and that fact they need to be heard together so a decision can be made on both simultaneously, the chair of planning asked for a planning committee to be arranged solely to discuss the applications.
“This special planning committee will allow the applications to be discussed in full and given due consideration.”