Residents in Solihull will be urging a Government inspector today to reject plans for two service stations.
Representatives from leafy Catherine-de-Barnes, Hampton-in-Arden and Dorridge will join campaigners from the Warwickshire village of Balsall Common to air their views on the proposals.
Today is the first opportunity for residents to give evidence at a planning inquiry into proposals for service stations (MSSs) on the M42.
Government inspector Michael Ellison spent the last month considering proposals for an MSS between junctions 5 (Solihull) and 6 (NEC), close to Catherine-de-Barnes, submitted by Swayfields Limited. He also been hearing evidence surrounding another application by Shirley Estates which intends to build on land near junction 4 (Shirley).
Evidence has already been heard from both applicants and from the Highways Agency and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.
Maggie Throup, spokeswoman for the campaign against the service stations and prospective Tory candidate for the Solihull constituency, said properties have been blighted for more than a decade by the proposals.
A previous public inquiry, which began in 1999, ended with the Secretary of State announcing he was "minded to approve" the Catherine-de-Barnes application. However, the final go-ahead, which would swallow an ancient woodland, a Grade II listed farmhouse and 65 acres of green belt in the Meriden Gap, was never given.
Ms Throup said: "We feel we have a strong case against the proposed service stations and will be asking the Secretary of State to reject both. So many residents across Solihull have been living in the shadow of these service stations for over ten years now, it is vital both applications are thrown out.
"Our evidence focuses mainly on Green Belt issues, but also on the nature of the motorway. We all know just how busy it is and how so much of the traffic is commuter traffic. We recognise the success of the Active Traffic Management and feel this should not be jeopardised."
The umbrella group of the various residents' groups opposing the plans is called SAMSAG - Solihull Against Motorway Service Areas Group.
This organisation includes Catherine-deBarnes Residents' Association, Hampton Society, Hampton-in-Arden Parish Council, Dorridge and District Residents Association and Balsall Common Residents Association.
The inquiry has so far heard concerns from the Highways Agency building a new service station near Catherine-de-Barnes would force officials to reconsider plans for widening the motorway shelved years ago.
The agency said a new service station would make the Active Traffic Management system on that stretch of motorway redundant.
Caroline Spelman, Tory MP for Meriden, also spoke about traffic issues when she recently gave evidence to the inquiry. Ms Spelman said: "I gave evidence at the first Public Inquiry in 1999; now, nine years on we are seeing yet another inquiry carried out at great public expense.
"Many of my constituents suffer blight from the threat of an MSA without any compensation."