Thousands raised for campaign to stop M1 service station plans

Campaigners will visit Smithy Wood again this weekend
Campaigners will visit Smithy Wood again this weekend
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More than £8,000 has been raised for a campaign fighting plans for a motorway service station in Sheffield woodland.

Donations have been made to help fund The Woodland Trust’s efforts to stop the proposed M1 services being built at Smithy Wood, near Chapeltown.

The organisation is aiming to raise £25,000 to pay for expert staff to tackle the application from Extra Motorway Service Area.

Developers are seeking to build the motorway stop across 20 acres beside Smithy Wood, near Junction 35 of the M1, and say it is needed because drivers have to travel up to 42 miles on the motorway without a break area.

Hundreds of campaigners have already submitted objections, while more than 6,000 have signed the trust’s petition against the plans.

The trust and Cowley Residents Action Group have now organised a public picnic at the under-threat site to help the campaign.

Members of the public are invited to attend the picnic, with the group meeting on Sunday, from 12.30pm, at the field next to The Traveller’s Inn pub, Smithy Wood Road.

Oliver Newham, trust campaigner said: “We hope to see locals and visitors alike enjoying the event, which aims to inspire even more people who value this irreplaceable ancient wood to register their formal objection to the planning application.

If given the go-ahead, the site would include a petrol station, hotel and parking for more than 500 vehicles.

Developers say up to 300 permanent jobs would be created.