Extra have failed to engage with public

Andrew Long, Chief Executive of Extre MSA who want to build a motorway service area at Jcn 35 on the M1 at Smithy Wood'Picture Dean Atkins
Andrew Long, Chief Executive of Extre MSA who want to build a motorway service area at Jcn 35 on the M1 at Smithy Wood'Picture Dean Atkins
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On Thursday, September 24 I attended a meeting of Ecclesfield Parish Council.

This was a special meeting that had been convened so that Extra could give a presentation about their proposals for a motorway service station at junction 35 near Chapeltown.

The meeting was attended by a few members of the public (even though it had not been well publicised).

Extra gave their presentation and members of the parish council were then able to ask questions.

Unfortunately, as this was a council meeting, members of the public were unable to ask Extra any questions.

Within their presentation it became apparent they had also held a workshop with selected local groups.

I must say, I am disgusted that Extra have once again failed to engage with the public.

I think they should have organised a public meeting so that local people could have had the opportunity to ask them questions, rather than only allowing this opportunity to a select few.

Last year the parish council organised a public meeting at Newton Chambers, which Extra did not attend.

I must ask “what are they frightened of?”

The crux of their proposal is to destroy a large portion of an 800-year-old woodland to build a motorway services which many believe is not required.

The M1 already has services at Woolley edge and Woodall; we don’t need this additional service station and certainly not at the expense of 800-year-old woodland.

Ultimately the question still remains – do we need this motorway service station and is it worth the destruction of an ancient woodland ?

Colin Taylor

Chapeltown