Solihull Motorway Service Area

Pre-application consultation

In December 2014/January 2015 a public consultation was undertaken to help inform the design of the MSA. This resulted in a number of changes to the proposals.

There was both opposition to and support for the proposals. Where possible comments received have been taken into account in the amended design, and as set out below significant changes have been made. These include:

  • The area covered by development has been reduced.
  • The Facilities Building and the Hotel building have moved from the eastern side of the site, closest to the Motorway, westwards. They are now set into the hillside and surrounding elevated landscape, with the roof heights below that of the slope which runs down from the boundary with Walford Hall Farm / Solihull Road eastwards down towards the M42.
  • The design of the building has evolved alongside its relocation – illustrative plans to the right show the rolling green roof and timber uprights creating a building which blends with its environment and sits within the existing landform.
  • The development area footprint has contracted and moved northwards and westwards reducing the impact on the setting of the adjoining Walford Hall Farm and the loss of good quality farmland.
  • The HGV parking area is cut into and set below the height of Solihull Road reducing the impact when viewed from the local area.
  • The parking layout has been designed with ease of movement and pedestrian safety in mind.
  • A 15m buffer zone between the development and the western edge of Aspbury’s Copse has been achieved in line with Natural England’s Standing Advice[1].
  • The proposed development will provide substantial areas of new woodland planting, in particular to the east of the main MSA building and around the proposed slip roads, new Junction and access road. This will ensure continued succession of woodland cover; provide screening and filtering of views of the proposed development from the surrounding landscape; and contribute to biodiversity.
  • A dedicated mini bus service is proposed to assist employees in reaching the MSA – this will connect with North Solihull
  • Whilst access will be taken from local roads in the early stages of construction, once the Junction is operational, all access will be taken from the Motorway.

[1] Natural England and Forestry Commission Standing Advice for Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees April 2014. Advice reference StAdv/AWVT/NE/Apr2014