New Gloucestershire M5 services on track for construction
SPADES will be in the ground and diggers on site for a new M5 service station before Christmas.
Motorway services operator Westmoreland is on track to build the new Brookthorpe stop-off after a long legal battle.
Company boss Sarah Dunning gave county leaders a preview of the site on Thursday.
"We hope to be building before Christmas," she said. "We don't have a certain date set yet, we will work to our timetable but we are still committed and yesterday's visit was about the opportunity the project presents."
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After Stroud District Council awarded planning permission for the services just over a year ago, two rival motorway services operators and objectors launched a bid for a judicial review.
While that went through the courts, it meant Westmoreland and Gloucestershire Gateway Trust could not start work on the £40million service stations between junctions 11a and 12.
In February the High Court turned down the legal challenge by Roadchef and Welcome Break, backed by Harescombe and Brookthorpe-with-Whaddon parish councils, and Campaign Against Motorway Service Area (CAMSA). A subsequent appeal failed.
Westmoreland, which runs the acclaimed Tebay services in Cumbria, and the trust, say the new services will create 300 new jobs.
Mrs Dunny refused to be drawn on the move, from Welcome Break, which runs Michaelwood service area to the south, and Roadchef, which has the Strensham services to the north.
"The judicial review process has been a long one and clearly a lot of work could not be done while that was done," she said.
"They have a right to undertake that process and took it up."
At the original hearing at Birmingham County Court the claimants said the council had not paid enough attention to reports saying the services would have a detrimental effect and would be harmful to the landscape.
But that was rejected, as was an appeal, meaning the planning permission still stood.