MAR 98] CPRE WARWICKSHIRE PRESS RELEASE
Green Belt Under Threat From Motorway Services
A new application for a motorway service area (MSA) on the M42 at Ravenshaw is
causing immense concern amongst local residents and environmentalists.
CPRE Warwickshire is working with community groups to
oppose applications for MSAs at several locations along the Solihull section of the M42,
including Catherine-de-Barnes, which was lodged last year. Both this and the Ravenshaw
application are potentially disastrous for the Meriden Gap, and neither should gain
permission, says CPRE's Solihull Area Representative Gill Smith.
"Government advice is that an MSA is not an
appropriate development in a Green Belt,"she claims.
CPRE believes the impact on the environment would be
extremely damaging in terms of visual amenity, traffic congestion, pollution, nature
conservation and wildlife, and is awaiting the results of Environmental and Traffic
Assessments requested by Solihull Council.
Gill Smith adds:
"The M42 is largely used as a commuter road, serving
the local population in the Birmingham area and generating many short trips. This group of
motorway users does not need a service area. We are particularly concerned about the
safety element after the dreadful accident near junction 6 which resulted in six
fatalities. Junctions 4, 5 and 6 of the M42 are already extremely busy and will become
more so with the proposed expansion of Birmingham Airport, the NEC and the Blythe Valley
development. An MSA would only add to the problem."
About 100 protesters from the Ravenshaw area met this week
to voice their opposition to the new application. Meriden MP Caroline Spelman also
attended, and urged them to join forces with other local action groups and draw up a
petition calling for all MSA applications in Solihull's Green Belt to be turned down.
CPRE Warwickshire Press Office 01203 460064