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OBJECTIONS: New service station near Chalfont St Peter voted down by council

 Published on: 5th July 2021   |   By: Amneet Kaur   |   Category: Uncategorized

Plans for a new major service station near Chalfont St Peter (CSP) have been voted down by the council but the final decision is now in the hands of the planning inspectorate.

Local residents and four CSP councilors have strongly objected to plans for a new roadside service area on the M25 submitted by Extra Motorways.

The committee agreed that major harm to the greenbelt far outweighed the benefits claimed by the applicant.

The plans highlight the erection of a new hotel, significant parking and a complex new junction.

Bucks Council’s failure in making a decision within the statutory period meant that the final decision will be taken by the planning inspectorate, but it was required to consider the application regardless.

The application was first submitted in July 2019 but over the time it has been subjected to changes.

The issue will go on to be addressed by a hearing before the Planning Inspector starting on August 17.

The development, if approved, will be on land known as Warren Farm, between Junction 16 and 17 of the M25 near Chalfont St Peter.

Plans include facilities building with retail and a food court, a filling station, and a 100-bedroom hotel.

There will also be parking facilities, vehicle circulation, a service yard, electric vehicle (EV) charge points, and outdoor spaces such as a children’s play area, and a new lake.

Council documents declare that the scheme is ‘inappropriate development’ resulting in “spatial and visual harm”.

It is also mentioned the service station would “address a 44-mile gap in provision” between Cobham and South Mimms, delivering “significant benefits” for road user safety.

The development would also create 340 full-time jobs, and investment.

Tony Shinner, chairman of CSP council; and parish and Bucks councilors Isobel Darby, Jonathan Rush and Linda Smith pointed out that the service area project conflicted with four of the government’s aims of the greenbelt. Furthermore, the project was close to Robertswood School, would cause congestion in Denham Lane damage the tranquility of the village’s Garden of Rest and harm wildlife habitats.

Residents have expressed their concerns about the development. One person said: 

A resident said: “This service station will be not far behind the woods at the rear of the Garden of Rest at the top of Joiners Lane. With all the HS2 disruptions to wildlife, this added disruption will interfere with more wildlife, roe deer live in these woods and are a protected species.”

Another person commented: “Just really gets on my wick.. don’t mention the fact they decline all sorts of house improvements because it doesn’t suit the green built status but hey ho let’s dig up and whack massive other developments on green land!”

Picture credit Tony Shinner 

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