Hundreds of people sign petition against A14 service station

Green Party members are opposed to the plans for a service station off the A14 at Elmswell

Green Party members are opposed to the plans for a service station off the A14 at Elmswell. Pictured are councillor Sarah Mansel and Danny Hewitt, who launched a petition against the plans - Credit: Wendy Turner/Danny Hewitt/Google Maps

A petition against plans for a service station off the A14 at Elmswell has been backed by more than 500 people.

The change.org petition is opposing a planning application by Euro Garages for a four-pump petrol station plus drive-thru restaurant and coffee shop near Kiln Lane, on the south side of the village.

Petition organiser Danny Hewitt says the development would be "detrimental" to the area, generating increased litter and pollution while the extra traffic would pose a danger for cyclists and pedestrians.

Euro Garages have submitted a planning application to build a service station by the DVSA test site south of Elmswell

Euro Garages have submitted a planning application to build a service station by the DVSA test site south of Elmswell - Credit: Google Maps

Mr Hewitt, a volunteer with the local Green Party and Elmswell resident, also said he was concerned about the impact of litter on the hedgehog population in the area.

He added: "It's just not the right site for it. It's really worrying a lot of residents."

The petition is also backed by Mid Suffolk Green Party councillors, including Sarah Mansel, a district councillor for Elmswell and Woolpit, and Adrian Ramsay, Green Party co-leader and Green MP candidate for the area.

Adrian Ramsay, Green Party leader and Green MP candidate for the area

Adrian Ramsay, Green Party leader and Green MP candidate for the area - Credit: Contributed

Mr Ramsay said: "Drive-through restaurants should be a thing of the past given the climate emergency and the amount of extra traffic and emissions they generate. National planning rules need to be far tougher on polluting developments like these.”

Mrs Mansel said "the location is completely inaccessible really by bike or pedestrians".

Sarah Mansel, Mid Suffolk District Councillor for Elmswell and Woolpit

Sarah Mansel, Mid Suffolk District Councillor for Elmswell and Woolpit - Credit: Wendy Turner

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While the planning statement with the application talks of a future footway/cycleway link between Elmswell and Woolpit, Mrs Mansel said there were no concrete plans for one in the pipeline and she believed access to the site itself would still be difficult.

A previous planning application was refused on highways grounds, but the planning statement said they felt they had addressed the concern of merging between the exit point of the site and the roundabout.

It also said safe pedestrian routes from the boundary of the A1088 through the development had been identified. 

The Suffolk County Council highways response is not yet on the planning website.

Danny Hewitt, A Green Party volunteer from Elmswell, launched the petition to stop the service station 

Danny Hewitt, a Green Party volunteer from Elmswell, launched the petition to stop the service station - Credit: Danny Hewitt

Green Party members also expressed concern not enough electric vehicle charging points feature.

The planning statement said there was a notable shortage of roadside services along this section of the A14 and a clear need for them to support the local growing population. 

It added: "The works would result in the active and sustainable long-term use of a vacant, strategically-located site on the A14 which will bring significant benefits to the local economy."

Euro Garages was approached for comment.

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