A proposal for a new motorway service area (MSA) at junction 6 of the M3 at Basingstoke needs to be fully assessed by the council, according to environmental charity CPRE Hampshire.

Moto is developing plans for MSA and has been told by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council that an environmental impact assessment isn’t required to accompany any planning application.

Edward Dawson, spokesman for CPRE Hampshire, responded by saying: “It’s a pity that the council had concluded that an environmental impact assessment is not needed, but that is not the end of the story. The planning system is well able to assess all relevant aspects of this proposal.

“CPRE will press for a range of issues to be given full consideration. We are especially concerned about the impact of the proposal on the Hackwood Park Grade I registered gardens. We will be open-minded until we see the actual application, but we have doubts that a further public service station is required along this stretch of the motorway.”

There are currently services at Fleet and Winchester. These are 28 miles apart and CPRE suggests they may be sufficient along this section of road. Such sites are also normally sited along a motorway, not at junctions. CPRE believes there may be considerable public concern and opposition to the new facilities being proposed.

Dawson added: “We all use service stations on a motorway drive, but how many stops do we really need? The impact of glaring light and noise on the area is potentially immense. This is a listed park and garden of national importance. It’s bordering the historic estate of Hackwood Park. This site was always part of the local heritage and the integrity of the Hackwood estate should be preserved.”

Earlier this year Applegreen approached Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council 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, is also between the services at Winchester and Fleet.