M1 services plan revealed for Sheffield

Artists' impression of the new M1 service station at junction 35 near Chapeltown which includes an 80-bedroom hotel and food court.

Artists' impression of the new M1 service station at junction 35 near Chapeltown which includes an 80-bedroom hotel and food court.

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Developers have submitted controversial plans to build a motorway service station on ancient woodland in Sheffield.

Public consultation on proposals for the facility - at junction 35 of the M1 near Chapeltown - met with widespread opposition from locals and conservation groups when it was carried out by Motorway Services Extra at the end of last year.

But the company has now submitted a formal planning application for the £40million development at Smithy Wood, including an 80-bedroom hotel, filling stations, 639 parking spaces, shops and a food court, to Sheffield Council.

Bosses say a new service station is needed to adhere to Government guidelines relating to maximum drive times.

They have promised to create 400 local construction jobs and a further 250 part-time and full-time positions at the service station once it is completed.

Chief executive Andrew Long said: “Having established a clear requirement for a new motorway services area at Junction 35 of the M1, we are confident that our proposals can facilitate another flagship, job-creating development that will significantly enhance the local economy.

“Our seven nationwide areas all make major contributions to their localities and and this latest project will be no exception.”

In a move designed to reassure a local residents action group and the Woodland Trust, who applied for the site to be protected with village green status, Motorway Services Extra has pledged to create a new 39-acre woodland with 60,000 new trees open to the public for recreational use.

Another 172 acres of privately owned woodland will be opened up to the public.