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New Solihull service station to create 300 jobs

Latest proposals to build a motorway services south of Birmingham would see 24 acres of land off M42 redeveloped to house 'green' services

Axis Artist's impression of new services planned for J4 of the M42
Artist's impression of new services planned for J4 of the M42

More than 300 jobs are set to be created at a new motorway service station on the M42.

Irish operator Applegreen is behind the latest proposal which could also signal the end for another planned service station just a few miles along the busy West Midlands motorway.

Dublin-based Applegreen has lodged new plans with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to redevelop 24 acres of land north-east of junction four next to the Four Ashes Golf Centre.

The project, which is expected to create 336 jobs, would comprise a petrol station, services and public space and be accessible to traffic in both directions as it would connect directly with junction four.

There will be a sustainably designed services building with a rolling green roof, separate drive-thru coffee shop and more than 800 parking spaces, including 662 for cars.

An additional slip road lane will be built southbound on the M42, widening Gate Lane to four lanes and there will be changes to the elevated roundabout at junction four.

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The proposals also include a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the M42, replacing the current pedestrian route which would be lost through the carriageway widening works on the junction.

New woodland will also be planted and this will provide screening of the development.

Applegreen's proposals could signal the end for another planned motorway service station which was first unveiled at the end of 2014.

Extra MSA Group announced it wanted to build a £65 million service station and hotel, also expected to create around 300 jobs, on 169 acres of land on both sides of the M42 between junctions five and six.

It was initially due to open by the end of 2017.

Despite lodging the plans in July 2015, no final decision has been awarded to the project which has been delayed over highways issues and time limits on making a decision have been extended several times since then.

Whichever project wins the council's backing, it will be the first services built in the wider Birmingham area since Hopwood, at junction two of the M42 near Bromsgrove, in 1999.

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