Together with councillors from neighbouring wards and planning committee members with Solihull Council I received on Friday a brochure from Applegreen who intend a proposal to build a new motorway service station adjacent to Junction 4 of the M42. We councillors have been invited to a briefing session they intend to hold next week in Solihull.


 It is important to note this is only a proposal and my intention to bring this to attention of local residents is to evidence openness and transparency, as well as to negate any rumours. I have been given permission by Applegreen to share the brochure they have sent me and this is posted below.

It is also important to note that an existing planning application is being determined by Solihull Council already. This application was made last year and the application seeks a bigger motorway service area near to Junction 5. This application, number, PL/2015/51409/PPOL can be viewed via the council planning portal via this link: and the application seeks ‘Outline application for a motorway service area, new motorway junction and access road from M42 including underpass beneath Solihull Road, demolition of the existing Solihull Road bridge across the M42 and its replacement with a new bridge and associated works (means of access for consideration).’ This application, by the EXTRA MSA GROUP, has yet to be determined and I presume decision time is quite close. I therefore suspect the proposal from Applegreen is intended to either offer a ‘smaller footprint and reduced environmental impact’ for consideration if there are doubts about their business competitors application.

The brochure from Applegreen can be read here (sorry it is in four parts): IMG_20160620_0002IMG_20160620_0003IMG_20160620_0004IMG_20160620_0005

No formal planning application has been made to date and I will update you when I receive more information, certainly following the meeting next Wednesday evening.


  1. Why would you build a service station within a mile if a Tesco Extra supermarket with petrol station and lost if food, just seems more air and light pollution for an area which is heavily populated.

    1. I understand the rationale is for motorway users to use the service area. There is no point anyone else driving to the service station from normal roads.

      1. Thanks for response, but the point I was trying to make, is that people stop off the motorway to get food and petrol at the Tesco extra anyway, all at the exact same junction they are suggesting building a service station. In my view, we already have a service area via the combination of Tesco extra plus McDonald’s 50 years up road.

  2. I agree. When there are already services (albeit not a formally designated “Motorway Service Area”), provided by the Tesco facilities, why would the Council approve further development duplicating these?

  3. Sorry, we can not have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of vehicles (including HGV’s) coming off the motorway, driving up the dual carriageway to turn round to clog up the drive throughs and the Tesco/Notcutts car park.

      1. Sorry, the argument fails on many points. Yes people do stop over at retail parks off the motorway; High Wycome and Banbury off the M40 are good examples.

        I don’t have any evidence that hundreds at a time are stopping off at Monkspath Tescos, Notcutts and McDonalds, however if they do this clearly evidences the need for a service station in the area between the M40 and M6.

        Object to the service station but please recognise the dire need for motorway travellers to have services they can use. It is not a vase of saying ‘No’ but ‘Where’?

      2. Just a couple of points of clarity if I could ask please;-

        1) what traffic monitoring of the usage of the Notcutts , McDonald’s and Tesco areas have been conducted, as your comment “there is no proof” also applies to there be no proof that they don’t use it, unless you have carried out a survey or monitored traffic etc.

        2) all modern sat navs be they on phones or in car satnavs provide easy access to info on nearby cafes, petrol stations etc. So It would be safe to assume that some commuters do use the current facilities.

        3) the nearest service stations are on M42 north and south already and also on the M40 warwick, do we seriously believe another service area is required? I ask as anyone coming from the north or south would hit these options before getting to our local area, so not sure why you say there is a need?

        4) what evidence is there that commuters are requesting a new service station, as i have not seen any proof of this supposed demand?

        As you say, I will be objecting to the service station, but I will be doing it in the basis of show me the proof and facts, that it is needed rather than the approach you appear to be suggesting, which is show me the proof that it isn’t, unless I have misinterpreted your response?

      3. So you now want them in the hundreds at a time, including HGV’s? Perhaps we can signpost the cafe/restaurant facilities at Box Trees as well, that might help.

  4. Not sure why my comments haven’t appeared here to your subsequent response to my further comments, stating that it’s your belief that there is “no proof” that commuters are using the local services at Tesco, Notcutts and McDonalds, but as I stated in my subsequent response, which isn’t published either;-

    1) were is the evidence that they are not, have you conducted a survey on the usage of the facilities?

    2) were is the evidence that commuters wish a service station to be added, have you personally, the council or the contractors carried out a survey?

    3) aren’t the M42 north and south services plus the M40 services already serving the same commuters as once you pass these and you aren’t going to the NEC why would you need services?

    4) As you suggested, I will be objecting to the new services proposal but I will base my objection on the evidence provided by the council and the contractors, as I can’t see any evidence to date that proves we need another set of services.

    In conclusion, thank for you responses, but can I ask that any decision taken is based on the evidence, surveys and most importantly the environmental impact of new services I.e. Additional light, refuse and pollution of so may vehicles stopping and starting, which generates the highest level of immediate pollution, in a heavily populated area.

    I am sure, that any FOI request, will cover all of these questiins anyway and will be available to the public in due course.

    1. Absolute madness to deny commuters a service station somewhere in the area. If travelling north from, say, Oxford, the next service station after Warwick services is 52 miles.

      If we in the Solihull area use service stations in other parts of the country we must allow one in or near our area. But obviously as far away from Dorridge as can be, of course for some.

  5. I think Cllr Hawkins assertion that it is only Dorridge residents who might be opposed to this is deplorable. A station at this point will affect Hockley Heath, all the new homes at Blythe Valley and anyone travelling on the A3400.
    This junction is incredibly busy with both lanes of he M42 at a standstill at least twice every day. 750 additional homes at Blythe Valley will add at least another 1,000 cars to this area. Adding a service station at this junction will only compound traffic problems and air pollution.
    The earlier point about already having a 24 hour Tesco supermarket and petrol station on this junction should be sufficient to keep travellers fully fuelled with both petrol and food. A sign on the motorway alerting to facilities is all that is needed.

    1. No, sorry. Suggesting the hundreds and thousands of drivers on the motorway drive into a built up area to go to the local supermarket and drive through fast food outlet for their services is madness. Shall we advertise the craft centre at Box Trees as well while we are it?

  6. Clearly Councillor Hawkins has made up his mind on this issue.
    His comments re Dorridge residents are unnecessary, unhelpful and demeaning.
    The distance between service areas from Warwick varies between 38 and 48 miles. Not all motorists will be heading north on the M6, so to claim 52 miles will need to be covered is misleading.
    For those going south on the M42, the distance is under 30 mikes.
    No plan so far submitted has been of the standard of Tebay or Gloucester in terms of quality offered as well as the impact. If we have to have a service area locally, should we not be looking for a provider which can be superior to others?
    What about the Meriden Gap?

  7. Blimey, I now seemed to have made my mind up. I just wished I had been told first.

    Re distance between service stations: when driving north along the M40 next time take a look at the signposts displaying distances between service stations and you will find what I have posted is accurate. If we find that is acceptable then I am grateful for the normal 25-30 miles between other service stations on other motorways. I am sure many a parent will agree with that.

    The issues regarding the BVP and Fore Business Parks will certainly affect the application if and when heard by the committee (Highway England have called both applications in and put them on hold because of the implications of ,major works at junction 6). Now, if that is the case and this section is held not to be acceptable for a service station I do wonder if the site on the M40 itself near Hockley Heath at the Stratford Rd might be looked at in the future; just a thought.

    I have to reiterate though that signposting drivers onto the service station at Tesco’s and the fast food outlets along the Stratford Rd is an absolute no-starter.

  8. This proposal, if effected, will bring untold complications to the area. surely there are already adequate facilities near to the M42 Junction 4, without any further addition. The site already contends with traffic from Shirley, from on and off the M42, and that from the other direction along the Stratford Road. With the close proximity of Blythe Valley, it cannot be unreasonable to suggest that the environment has already been invaded enough, and the extra congestion and pollution can do nothing but harm.

  9. I was under the impression that this proposed new service station was to be sited at Catherine de Barnes. If, instead, junction 4 of the M42 is being considered, this will surely create a range of problems. The additional congestion, pollution and toll on the environment generally cannot but have an adverse effect on the lives of the local people, which should surely be the prime consideration here, but it is all superfluous since the facilities involved are already available at nearby Tesco and other stores. The traffic passing through this junction, to and from the M42 and the busy Stratford road, is already heavy for most of the time and any addition would introduce additional hazards in the form of tail-backs on and off the motorway. I do hope the planners concerned will think again.

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