Catterick services is a new proposal made public by Roadchef in June 2019, after several months of private negotiations.
It is to be built at the Catterick exit on the brand new section of the A1(M) motorway, which opened in 2017. A £57m investment, it would be built on land which had been primed for development, with an exit at the roundabout already in existence.
This motorway is notorious for its lack of service areas, especially if, as the planning documents do, you ignore the presence of Ferrybridge for its long detour and Scotch Corner for being a rest area. If you followed that logic, you would have found that there is a 60 mile gap between existing service areas.
Richmondshire District Council's planning office was set to recommend the scheme be approved in July. While that was good news for the project, many proposed service areas have still fallen at this hurdle. In the event the decision date was postponed to December 2021, and then postponed again to 2022.
The proposed service area would be unusual and unique for several reasons. Firstly, according to Roadchef, it would have the usual offer of Costa, Leon, McDonald's, WHSmith and Days Inn, but it would also have an on-site farm shop selling local produce. This would be the first service area to combine a farm shop, made famous by Tebay, with some famous brand names.
Outside there would be a petrol station, the usual Costa drive thru, and a McDonald's drive thru - a first of its kind, as motorway franchises tend to be walk-in only. This gives the impression that Roadchef may want to open more stand-alone McDonald's drive thrus, space permitting. The drive thrus would have their own dedicated parking area.
The main building would have the hotel at the north end, a delivery yard in the middle, and the main facilities to the south. Most of the building would be covered with a green roof - a style made famous by Gloucester. At the far southern end would be a terrace overlooking a lake, with a path looping around the building. The western end would be saved for a possible extension, doubling up as a dog walking area. A dedicated pathway would be provided for people arriving by bike.
The main exit from the car park would pass the entrance to the building. To avoid a congested crossing, the road would instead dip under the entrance - the sort-of idea not seen since the '60s - but this would be a lot wider and more stylish. The front of the building would be covered with a stone cladding. A special gateway arch would cover the main entry road.
If the motorway service area was built, Richmondshire District Council had suggested they would their lorry park in nearby Colburn, as they had received some complaints about its location. A cycle path would be provided between Catterick village and the service area.
During the consultation period, Welcome Break were awarded planning permission for a large motorway service area 21 miles to the south at Kirby Hill. This may affect Roadchef's argument and potentially even their enthusiasm for the project. The planning authority have said that there is an argument for an additional service area, even allowing for Kirby Hill.
Moto have also objected to the proposal on the basis that it affects their neighbouring sites. Unusually for such a large development, the proposal does have the support of the local parish council.
Roadchef also have a planning application at Selby.
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