A COUNCILLOR has warned that plans for a new motorway service station do not fit with the area’s recently approved local plan.

Proposals to create a new service station on the A1(M) near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire are currently lodged with Harrogate Borough Council.

The controversial plans were resubmitted earlier this year, three weeks after the company behind the proposals, Applegreen plc, withdrew plans for a Vale of York Motorway Service Area near Kirby Hill.

The company says it withdrew its plans originally due to a “technicality with some internal stakeholders”.

The campaign group Kirby Hill RAMS (Residents Against Motorway Services) responded by writing to the planning authority and the Secretary of State, asking them to refuse to accept the new planning application, saying the company voluntarily withdrew the plans.

Now a Harrogate Borough councillor, Nick Brown, has written to planning officers, stating that the motorway service area lies on land that has not been approved as suitable for development by the council.

The council’s draft local plan was approved just before Christmas.

Cllr Brown, who represents the Newby ward, warned that if the council granted planning permission for the motorway service area, it would be departing from its own local plan.

"There's absolutely no mention of a motorway service area in the draft plans that are going to the inspector.

“Until the draft local plan is approved by the inspectorate at a planning inquiry later this year, we still use the old local plan,” he said.

“But the old local plan also states there can only be one motorway service site in the Harrogate district and that is at Wetherby."

Kirby Hill RAMS said the planning application is the fifth such proposal submitted for a motorway service area on the A1(M) at Kirby Hill since 1996 and despite planning appeals, public appeals and court cases, permission has always been refused. Gareth Owens, chairman of Kirby Hill RAMS, said: “We welcome Cllr Brown’s decision to champion this issue. As a rural councillor, he fully understands the harm that this proposal would cause. I hope that the planning committee will listen to and respect his views.”

Applegreen says its proposals will create 330 new jobs and the development will be landscaped and on the western side of the A1(M) only.

It says the location is at an appropriate rest area for drivers on the motorway and in accordance with the Government’s recommendations for adequate rest areas for drivers every 28 miles.