Cheshire: M56 service station plans take a step forward

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INNOVATIVE plans to create a high quality service station on the M56 at Tatton has moved forward after formal proposals were put to council.

After the initial scheme was unveiled last yearTatton Services Ltd is now seeking permission from Cheshire East Council to create a Tebay-style motorway service station between Junctions Seven and Eight.

The project is an 80/20 partnership between the Westmorland family, the UK’s first award-winning family-owned motorway service company, and landowners, Tatton Estate.

According to plans, the site will include a farm shop, kitchen and hotel to provide “a real break” for travelers away from the highway.

Tatton Services would also create 558 jobs during a two-year construction and employ 223 people, if approved.

Artist’s impression of the new Tatton Services hotel

The concept is based on the success of Tebay Services on M6, run by farmers John and Barbara Dunning, who champion local food, crafts and clothing.

The vision, outlined in the planning document, is to “create a truly sustainable business, ready to embrace a different future in food, buildings and travel.”

Chester and District Standard: What the new Tatton services on offer will look likeWhat the new Tatton services on offer will look like

“Visitors will feel as if they are arriving at a farm.”

The family aims to showcase Cheshire farmers and food producers in a farm shop.

All meals served in the open kitchen will be freshly cooked on site.

“The team wanted to celebrate and showcase the food offering in a more mixed food hall-like experience where a variety of different stalls are featured to meet all traveler needs,” the app reads.

“The kitchens that produce much of the food are visible and therefore reinforce the farm-to-fork ethic and celebrate food production.”

A building with a barn-style roof and exposed timbers will create a spacious dining room.

Chester and District Standard: A barn-style roof and exposed wood will create a spacious dining spaceA barn-style roof and exposed wood will create a spacious dining area

Visitors will arrive through a vegetable garden, where herbs, plants and fruits will be grown.

Seating scattered around the garden will create a chill-out space for travelers to unwind.

A drive-through service, a café and a shop will be available to truck drivers and short-term motorists.

The proposed hotel will have 100 rooms designed in “a color palette of calm natural organic tones with the use of wood throughout”.

Chester and District Standard: artist's impression of new Tatton servicesArtist’s impression of the new Tatton services

The material and forms of all buildings will be ‘landscape sensitive’ and reflect a traditional British farmhouse.

A fuel barn will have 12 traditional pumps, 54 high-power EV chargers plus 42 standard-power chargers, with the ability to expand to meet future demand.

Chester and District Standard: visitors will walk through the gardens to reach the kitchen dining roomVisitors will walk through the gardens to reach the kitchen dining room

More than four million customers a year are expected to visit the service station, located between Junctions Seven and Eight.

Plans indicate that Tatton Services could generate an annual turnover of £36m.

Access will be direct via Bowdon Interchange or Bowdon South Roundabout via Yarwoodheath Lane.

Chester and District Standard: Tatton services offeredThe Tatton Services offered

Some modifications will be necessary for the roundabout but the proposed access avoids any new junction directly on the M56.

Comments received during an extensive public consultation have been taken into account.

No major design changes were necessary as the developers claim that the majority of feedback had already been addressed.

“The proposed scheme has been designed to the highest standards, using innovative materials to evoke a traditional agricultural sense of place,” the policy assessment states.

“Drivers needing a break will arrive at a beautifully designed motorway service area.

“The buildings have been designed to be safe, inclusive and accessible.

“Health and well-being was considered a key part of the sustainability strategy.”

Councilors hope to make a decision by July.

For more information and to comment on the plans, search reference 22/0872M on the council’s online planning portal.

The deadline for comments is April 21.

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