One of UK's oldest truck stops to expand

One of the oldest truck stops in the UK has been given permission to expand paving the way for work to begin on an extra 75 parking spaces for lorries.

One of UK's oldest truck stops to expand

Hollies Transport Cafe, which has served the likes of Tom Jones and Bernard Manning, is looking to transform shrub land off the A5 Watling Street for the bays.

South Staffordshire Council approved the planning application on Tuesday.

Despite being in the Green Belt there have been no objections from residents in the area, Highways Agency or council officers.

Councillor Leslie Ashley said: "We are very pleased with the expansion and work that has already taken place at the Hollies.

"From what it was before to what it is today is a substantial improvement.

The truckstop

"This extension work is a logical, and hopefully final, development as it is no secret that the current parking on the site leaves a lot to be desired.

"I do not believe it will completely eradicate HGVs parking in lay-bys but it will go a long way."

The site is a well-known landmark with the Hollies cottage initially built in 1894.

A tea room was opened in the 1930s and became a home and cafe in 1959 after being bought by truck driver Derek Curtis.

During the 70s and 80s it was given the nickname Greasy Lills and in 2002 won the Truck Stop of the Year award.

After being taken on by new owners the business was given a revamp and called the New Hollies in 2011. It was rebranded as Road King last year although it is still known by most as the Hollies.

The area of scrubland would be given a hard surface and the 75 HGV spaces will be provided for the cafe and truck stop. The application put forward states there is a 'pressing need' for an expansion.

A report for senior planning officer Andeep Gill to the committee says: "I do not consider that this proposal will result in any significant detrimental landscape and/or visual effects over and above those that already exist.

The truckstop

"The truck stop serves the vital needs of the haulage industry and predominantly HGV drivers. The existing truck stop provides a secure place for drivers to stop and rest during the day and in particular overnight.

"The proposal for the change of use of an area of scrubland for the expansion of HGV parking in relation to an existing business is considered acceptable. The new parking area would retain the openness and permanence of the green belt."

It comes as there are already plans put forward for a crematorium next to another truck stop.

The crematorium, chapel and parking space has been earmarked for a site near to the Trucker's Rest on the A5. A decision is expected early in the new year.

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