Service station scheme will be ‘detrimental’ to Rotherham

Plans for an M! service station at Smithy Wood have stirred up controversy
Plans for an M! service station at Smithy Wood have stirred up controversy
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A controversial plan to build a motorway service station on ancient woodland will be ‘detrimental’ to Rotherham, the council says.

Plans have been submitted to build a new £46m Extra service station for the M1 at Smithy Wood, near Chapeltown, which has sparked thousands of objections.

Rotherham Council has had to be re-consulted over the plans after Sheffield Council received amended information from the applicant.

Part of the updated plans includes development of new and existing woodland – one of which falls within the boundary of Rotherham Council, south of Hesley Wood.

A report to Rotherham Council planning board said: “The impact of the development on Rotherham will be detrimental in terms of impact on the ecology of Smithy Wood that is within Rotherham and the visual impact of the woodland clearing on views out of the borough.

“The improved woodland at Hesley Wood is recognised and welcomed and would ultimately be a benefit to Rotherham, but given its distance from the application site and the Rotherham section of the ancient woodland at Smithy Wood, it is unlikely to outweigh the adverse impact the development would have on the habitats at Smithy Wood within Rotherham.”

Developers say the scheme will create some 700 job opportunitie and include a hotel, petrol filling station, parking facilities for all vehicles, access and circulation internal roads, structured and natural landscaping with outside picnic space and dog walking area.

Sheffield Council is expected to make a decision on the proposals next month.