Less than a month after Forecourt Trader revealed Top 50 Indie Applegreen was planning its first motorway service area (MSA) in mainland Britain, proposals for a second have emerged.
Applegreen has approached Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) about proposals to build a motorway service station on the M3 at a site called Kennel Farm.
The site, on the southern side of the M3, would plug a gap on the motorway between services at Winchester and Fleet in Hampshire.
The facility would include nearly 300 car parking spaces, fuelling stations, a service area amenity building, a picnic area and a drainage scheme.
However, the proposals have run into opposition from local councillors. The Southern Daily Echo reported that councillor Terri Reid, deputy leader of BDBC, said: “The traffic around this area will go up once again, considering the 38 vans and lorries that already leave the digestion plant that we were against, and it is a massive concern.
“The fact of the matter is the Department for Transport give guidelines on how far apart service stations need to be and in this instance with one in Fleet and another in Winchester, it breaches these guidelines.
“There is no need for this service station and the traffic it will bring to our residents, and it’s wholly unacceptable.”
The Kennel Farm site is about 11 miles from Winchester and 17 miles from Fleet. Department for Transport guidelines state the maximum distance between service stations should be 28 miles and the equivalent of 30 minutes driving time.
A spokesman for Applegreen said the proposals were at an early stage. The company had contacted the council about an Environmental Impact Assessment and no planning application had been made.
Last month it was revealed Applegreen had been holding consultation meetings with local residents prior to lodging a planning application at junction 4 of the M42, near Shirley in the West Midlands.
A brochure for the scheme said it would create approximately 300 jobs and would comprise a two-storey amenity area, parking for 611 cars, 11 coaches and 77 HGV vehicles and separate fuel facilities for coaches and trucks.
Applegreen also pledged to offer fuel as competitive prices with fuel price displays on the motorway signage so motorists could see the value on offer.
The M42 scheme is one of two competing to provide facilities on this part of the motorway, with the other proposed by Extra for a site close to junction 5.
Applegreen’s brochure highlighted the way its scheme would minimise its environmental impact with a grass roof and extensive planting on the 8.7ha site, similar to the Forecourt Trader of the year award winning M5 services at Gloucester. The schemes share the same designer, AFL Architects.
It contrasted the compact size of its scheme with the other one which it claimed was 61.7ha, and would require the removal of 1,900sq m of ancient woodland. It added that far less infrastructure would be required by its scheme.
Although it would be Applegreen’s first MSA on the British mainland it claims to be the number one MSA operator in the Republic of Ireland, and a recently opened site near Belfast, in Northern Ireland, has attracted large numbers of customers.