Battle to develop motorway services secured by local businesses (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Leeming Bar development to go ahead
A FAMILY business has finally won its ten year battle to be allowed to upgrade its truck stop to a Motorway Service Area on the newly upgraded £318m stetch of the A1 in North Yorkshire.
Secretary of State for Communities, Eric Pickles, has now granted planning permission to develop Leeming Bar Services into a Motorway Service Area, and for Exelby Services and Truck Stop to develop its plans.
A report has also been published dismissing planning permission for three rival applications for motorway service sites at Kirkby Hill, near Boroughbridge, and two at Baldersby, near Ripon.
Michael Exelby, whose father set up Exelby Services for HGVs in Londonderry, North Yorkshire, in the 1950s, said the wait for the decision had been very frustrating.
“We had hoped to get this decision a lot earlier in the year - we will have to wait until spring to get started on the work now.
“It has been two and a half years since we first applied to move to the site at Leeming Bar and we are still frustrated with the Government for taking so long with the decision.”
Carl Les, boss of Leeming Bar Services, said: “I am so relieved at this outcome.
“This has been the biggest threat to our future in the 50 years we have been operating – so this news is especially good news to my staff, many of whom have been with me for many years.
“This is a victory for the local economy, common sense, using a brown field site over a green field site, and for the Localism Act which states small, local firms should be prioritised over large national companies.”
Chairman of the Kirkby Hill Residents Against Motorway Services group Gareth Owens said: “Common sense has prevailed.
"I would like to thank the Prime Minister David Cameron for listening to the big society here at Kirkby Hill and taking on board our evidence that this is a completely inappropriate location for a motorway services – upgrading Leeming Bar services is the right solution to the problem.”