Calls for the deletion of “useless” M5 service station plans


A number of residents have called for the rejection of plans for petrol stations near junction 24 of the M5.

Sedgemoor District Council has received 38 letters, mostly negative, regarding proposals to build the station on 85 acres of land in Huntworth, North Petherton, which is east of the junction for Bridgwater, Somerset Live reports .

The plans which were submitted by JLL on behalf of landowner S Notaro Land Ltd include cafes, restaurants and toilets spread over three floors as well as 324 parking spaces, 17 disabled spaces and eight motorcycle spaces.

But while a spokesperson believes the station’s design is “distinctive” and “unlike any other freeway service area,” many Huntworth residents disagree.

A sketch of the proposed new petrol station on the M5 in Somerset

Katherine Hunt called the development “monstrous” and believes green space should be left to future generations.

She said: “I find the fact that you, the people with influence and responsibility in planning, still consider this development to be incredulous.

“The idea is so disturbing and damaging to that part of Somerset, which is totally wiped out by developers for the sake of personal wealth and gain without thinking of the consequences of such destruction as a whole for the countryside or Somerset as a whole. that county.

“When are you going to wake up and smell the coffee?”

“The site proposed for destruction is absolutely vast and the desolation for the wildlife immeasurable to begin with.”

Miss Hunt added that the area did not need another gas station and went so far as to suggest that Bridgwater’s ‘catastrophic’ services should be shut down and reassigned to a workplace project.

She continued, “No one can be convicted that another gas station is needed in this area with so many others popping up nearby.

“Yes, the current junction 24 freeway services are and always have been a disaster for anyone trying to use them, so do what’s reasonable and shut them down.

“Use the building for a workplace project that does not cause excessive traffic to such a failure of the road infrastructure. Why do we need services every few miles these days? “

David Hayward, of Huntworth Lane, was among those who questioned the merits of building another service station near Bridgwater Services.

He said: “The development at junction 23 includes a gas station, metro concession, Costa cafe and McDonald’s.

“Why do we need another service here. We already have one.

“With the new road layout here, there were no blockages from previous years.

He is also concerned that the development could become a flood risk, but is also concerned about the impact of the services offered on the lighting and views of surrounding properties.

He added, “The storage roof area on the plan is higher than our house. Our views have been washed away by ugly conversion buildings before, so don’t suppress our light well.

“The air quality here is already bad, so the last thing it needs is more cars and trucks spitting out fumes.”

Another resident said the services offered “would destroy the green fields we have left” and was concerned about the quality of the air.

She wrote: “The proposed development is unnecessary and undesirable. Landowners should owe a duty of care to those around them, we all want an inheritance for our children.

“Please leave this land alone.”

Artist’s impression of the interior of the planned M5 petrol station in Somerset

Gavin Houlgate questioned the environmental impact of the site in light of the Sedgemoor District Council climate emergency declaration, the sustainability of jobs and the impact on listed buildings and the site’s heritage.

He said: “As of January 2019, many local people and other respondents have said this request should be rejected as outright over-development will negatively impact residents of Huntworth and other neighboring communities.

“The planning portal shows that the opposition has been both strong and fierce.

“Still, the developers and the landowner – working closely with the Sedgemoor council – have not budged an inch in their determination to destroy over 37 hectares of prime farmland by turning it into a park. ‘activities for heavy goods vehicles and in motorway service areas (‘ MSA ‘).

“If Sedgemoor’s planners decide to ignore entirely the upheaval caused – and the force of opinion – it will further undermine confidence in local democracy and representative decision-making.

“Many will wonder if it is useful to provide views and comments if they are totally ignored.”

Highways England again recommended that any decision be postponed for a month until they have reviewed the claimant’s abnormal load report and pending submission of the final Stage One Road Safety Audit report.

A spokesperson said: “This will enable Highways England to understand the impact of the development on the strategic road network and thus provide the planning authority with fully informed advice.”


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