M/way service areas inquiry to resume

A PLANNING inquiry into three competing applications to build new motorway service areas (MSAs) near Ripon and Boroughbridge is set to resume.

The inquiry into the three proposed locations – two at the A1/A61 Baldersby junction near Melmerby by Refined Estates Ltd and Jaytee (Rainton) LLP, and a third at Kirby Hill by Heather Ive Associates – originally opened in November 2010, closing last year after taking evidence from interested parties.

But it is being re-opened in February because the Secretary of State lacks sufficient information on certain aspects of the proposals.

The inquiry represents the third appeal by Heather Ives Associates with respect to their plans to build an MSA at Kirby Hill. The group’s latest application was refused by Harrogate Borough Council in 2009.

For Refined Estates Ltd, which hopes to build its service area north-west of the A1/A61 junction, it is the company’s second call-in to an inquiry, and for Jaytee (Rainton) LLP – hoping to build south of the same junction – its first call-in.

When the applications were first submitted, the Department for Transport had planned to upgrade the A1 dual carriageway between Dishforth and Barton, near Scotch Corner, to a motorway but in November 2010 the coalition Government announced it was axing the upgrade north of Leeming – due to start in 2014 – because of spending cuts.

l The public inquiry will re-open at the Yorkshire Hotel, on Prospect Place in Harrogate, on Tuesday, February 21, at 10am, and is expected to last eight days.