M1 motorway services plan for Smithy Wood site dropped

  • Published
Sheffield Services (artist impression 2017)Image source, Extra MSA
Image caption,
The plan for a motorway services site on ancient woodland in South Yorkshire has been dropped by the developer

A plan to build a motorway service station on ancient woodland beside the M1 has been dropped following years of protests about the scheme.

Extra Motorway Service Area Group (MSA) had wanted to develop the site at Smithy Wood near junction 35 in South Yorkshire.

The company said it had withdrawn the planning application for the proposed £45m project.

The Woodland Trust, which had opposed the scheme, said it was "delighted".

In August 2013, MSA said there was a need for services on the site as drivers were having travel up to 42 miles without the opportunity to stop.

Opponents of the scheme included the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust who feared about half of Smithy Wood, which dates back to the 1160s, would be lost.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The Smithy Wood site, south-west of M1 Junction 35, is predominantly ancient woodland

In a statement, the developers said: "Extra has withdrawn its planning application at M1 J35 Sheffield, having decided not to proceed with this project.

"We do not want to make any further comment."

The Woodland Trust said: "We are delighted that the application has been withdrawn after six years of dogged determination and campaigning by the trust and the local community.

"Should any other proposal for this site materialise we stand ready to fight again."

Highways Agency guidance states motorway drivers should be able to stop every 30 minutes, or every 12-28 miles (19-45km), depending on traffic conditions.

Currently drivers coming to the M1 from the M18 in South Yorkshire travel 42 miles (67km) between services.

Image caption,
There had been protests over the plans for the services in South Yorkshire

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