Express & Star

Fifty new jobs pledge for proposed service station near Stafford

Plans have been lodged for a new motorway-style service station near Stafford to create up to 50 jobs.

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If given the green light the development earmarked for greenbelt land in Stone Road in Meaford opposite the George and Dragon pub will feature a picnic area and 16 electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

It will not be inside the Meaford Conservation Area and would function similarly to motorway services.

If approved by Stafford Borough Council's planning committee the development would create 50 full- and part-time jobs.

The planning statement reads: “The application site is located on the A34 which is a trunk road connecting major cities with an identified need for additional local transport infrastructure to support the needs of motorists.

"In light of this, this proposal seeks to provide a new local transport infrastructure offering 16 EV charging points and a drive-through restaurant and picnic area, with sufficient outdoor sitting area and parking spaces for motorists to meet all their needs during their journey.

“By virtue of the sequential assessment concluding that there are no sequentially preferable sites within nearby town or local centres, it is confirmed that the proposal constitutes appropriate development in the Green Belt. The sequential assessment has been undertaken in light of the proposed main town centre use, a drive-through restaurant.

"The assessment covered the Stone town centre and Walton local centre, concluding that there are no sequentially preference sites meeting the criteria for a charging hub.

“Thereby, the proposal satisfies the sequential approach in accordance with the requirements set out in the NPPF and the Local Plan. The proposed site is located outside of the Meaford Conservation Area, being separated by the A34. Careful design of the proposed site layout ensures that the setting of the Conservation Area will not be affected by the proposed development.”

A decision over the plans will be made at a later date.

Report by Local Democracy Reporter Jonathan Sutton