Planning Portal

First motorway service stations for Northern Ireland – Attwood

Published on Wed, 16 Jan 2013 by
Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, has announced planning permission for two new motorway service stations on the M2, with two to follow on the M1.
These are the first of their kind in Northern Ireland.

Currently there are no service stations directly on the motorways in Northern Ireland so commuters have to leave the motorway at an existing junction to find a nearby service station. The proposed stations will have direct slip road access on and off the M1 and M2 in each direction.

On the M2 the new service stations will be located opposite each other on either side of the motorway at Browns Road, Ballycraigy, about two miles west of the Sandyknowles roundabout. On the M1 the proposed service stations, which go to Lisburn Council tonight for ratification, are again to be located opposite each other almost midway between Lisburn and Belfast about a quarter mile south of the Ballyskeagh Road.

Alex Attwood said: “New motorway service stations are a first for Northern Ireland. This will be good for travellers and good for jobs. Their development will also provide a significant boost to the local economy, with a potential investment of some £20million.

“In bringing forward these recommendations my officials have been mindful that it is crucial that the planning system delivers for applicants who, despite difficult conditions, have the confidence to invest in Northern Ireland and provide significant employment generating activities. These large scale investment applications were submitted after detailed pre-application discussions between my officials and the applicants and represent another example of how DOE Planning is providing a speedier, more cost effective and more responsive service for everyone. These applications were turned around in just under 12 weeks, exceeding the Programme for Government commitment of six months.”

The proposals for this phased development of the motorway service facilities were submitted late last year by Petrogas Ltd who currently operate all the motorway service areas on the island of Ireland under the Applegreen brand – a familiar sight for anyone travelling to Dublin.

DOE Planning recommended approval for the phased development of these new motorway service areas on the M1 and M2 motorways. Newtownabbey Borough Council has agreed with this opinion to approve the new service stations on the M2 and Lisburn City Council will be consulted tonight with an opinion to approve the other two on the M1.

This decision to approve phased development means that the filling stations can be opened in advance of the other facilities. The previous consents required the proposals to be completed in their entirety before these could open.

Notes to editors:

1. Planning applications (S/2012/0650/F and S/2012/0651/F on M1 and U/2012/0318/F and U/2012/0319/F on the M2) were all submitted on 24 October 2012. The applications were presented to Newtownabbey Borough Council on the 14th January and will be consulting Lisburn City Council on the 16 January 2013.

2. The applications have been made under Article 28 of the Planning (NI) Order 1993 and are seeking permission to vary conditions attached to the original approvals made in spring 2011 to allow for a phased development of the proposed motorway service areas.

3. The applicant is Petrogas Ltd.

4. One objection was received to one of the four applications submitted.

5. The Programme for Government commitment is to decide large scale investment planning decisions within six months by 2015 and give applications with job creation potential additional weight. The target for this year is 60%.

6. For media enquiries contact DOE Press Office Tel: 028 9025 6058 or out of office hours call the EIS Duty Press Officer on 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.
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