Major new M25 service station boasting a hotel and complex junction near Aylesbury and Hemel voted down by council

The application was first submitted in July 2019

Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:03 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:09 pm

A major motorway service station boasting a new hotel, significant parking, and a complex new junction has been voted down by the council – but the local authority is no longer the decision maker.

Bucks Council agreed it was “minded to refuse” an outline application for a new roadside service area on the M25 submitted by Extra Motorway Services – but because it ‘failed to make a decision’ within the statutory period, the final decision will be taken by the Planning Inspectorate.

The application was first submitted in July 2019 and has since been subject to amendments.

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Planning stock image
Planning stock image

Developers said their proposal, which took more than 18 months to put together and submit, addressed a “significant road safety need for this location on the motorway network”.

In March, the applicant appealed on grounds of non-determination.

As a result, Bucks Council is no longer the decision maker – but it is still required to consider the application.

A public inquiry is scheduled for August.

The new development, on land known as Warren Farm, between Junction 16 and 17 of the M25, near Chalfont St Peter, will have a facilities building with retail and a food court, a filling station, and a 100-bedroom hotel.

There will also be parking facilities (1,030 light vehicle/52 disabled, 200 HGV, 18 coach, 22 motorcycle), a service yard, vehicle circulation, electric vehicle (EV) charge points, and outdoor spaces such as a children’s play area, and a new lake.

Essential infrastructure will also be installed, including a junction crossing the M25 in the form of a single overbridge loop giving access to the site, with slip roads north and southbound, and a roundabout within the site itself.

A 42-hectare area outside the site referred to as “community lands” will be enhanced “for improved recreation and leisure activity”.

The scheme is “inappropriate development”, resulting in “spatial and visual harm” in the Green Belt, council documents state.

However, it is also acknowledged the service station would “address a 44-mile gap in provision” between Cobham and South Mimms, delivering “significant benefits” for road user safety – while also creating 340 full-time jobs, and investment.

During a Strategic Sites Committee, on June 23, Cllr Peter Cooper proposed members be “minded to refuse” the application, seconded by Cllr Jonathan Waters.