Environment Agency raises concerns about plans for services at Catterick A1(M) junction

An artist's impression of the proposed new services at Catterick.

The Environment Agency (EA) has submitted an official objection to plans for a new motorway service area (MSA) at the Catterick A1(M) junction.

The EA says the development at Pallett Hill would be built on “protected floodplain grazing marsh habitat” which is a “local wildlife site due to its suitability to migratory birds”.

It is recommended the application is refused when it is considered by councillors from North Yorkshire Council.

Richmondshire District Council gave its back to the scheme with a ‘minded to grant’ decision in 2022, however a final decision was not issued and the application must now go back before the planning committee at the new North Yorkshire Council.

The EA report concluded: “We object to the building of services off of the A1M proposed as part of this planning application due to its likely effect on floodplain grazing marsh habitat.

“This habitat is listed as being of principal importance under s41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006. Insufficient details of mitigation or compensation measures have been submitted to address any identified risks.

“We therefore recommend that planning permission is refused.”

However, EA said the applicants Roadchef could potentially overcome their objections if they carried out further work

This included details of how the floodplain would be protected during construction works and putting in place a plan for the “long-term management and protection of the floodplain grazing marsh or similar habitat capable of supporting migratory bird populations and its habitat for at least 30 years after construction”.

The services would include 8,912sq metres of restaurant and cafe floorspace, a 100-bedroom hotel, Costa and McDonalds drive-thru cafes, a fuel filling station, HGV overnight parking and a 24-hour two-storey amenity building.

The applicants claim the services will create more than 200 full-time jobs.

More than 700 people have signed a petition against the development, which was launched after Richmondshire District Council gave its backing to the scheme.

The petition states: “The decision should be overturned on the basis that this unwanted MSA (Motorway Service Area) would destroy an important wildlife environment, used by migrating wildfowl and indigenous wildlife.

“In addition to this, local villagers’ lifestyle will be badly affected by increased crime, rubbish, anti-social behaviour, noise, and light pollution if this MSA is built.

“It is also very likely that, as there will be easy access to the MSA directly from Catterick Village, it will attract the many young people from the village as a place to hang out.

“A motorway service area is not a suitable place for young people to hang about for any number of reasons.”

Around 150 people have submitted objections to the plans, while a campaign group, the Campaign to Save Catterick’s Wildfowl Habitat, has also been formed.

Other organisations have objected including Catterick Village Parish Council,. Historic England, and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

The parish council said in its response: “The councillors cannot now see the need for an extra Motorway Services here as MOTTO have put in an application to extend both Scotch Corner Services for cars and caravans and Barton Services for lorries and to become a Motorway Service Area.

These areas are only about 4 miles from Scotch Corner and Barton so another MSA at J52, so close to these, is not required.

“Surely it would be better to extend these two services rather than build a complete new one.”


  1. What the point one at scotch corner an eyesore builders gone bust steel up. For about a year scrapmen will.be.next waste of money

  2. North Yorkshire County Council never listen to its voters. The are a law unto them selves.
    This will be passed now after the first time it was approved.

  3. Building anything on a flood plain is bonkers but why the assumption that it would lead to increased crime,
    littering and other forms of anti-social behaviour?

    • There will be a lorry park and a hotel. Drivers staying overnight risk having their vehicles broken into,anti-social behaviour and theft. That is what type of crime happens at other MSA’s. If you look online you will see plenty of pictures of litter that has blown into surrounding areas.

  4. Do we honestly need another Costa and McDonald’s though. I don’t think it should go ahead either, but even if it does, they need to rethink the businesses that will be there. We have a McDonald’s at Catterick camp and again at leeming bar. We have Costa in every single garage and motorway service as far as we can see. Try bringing something new to the place. Maybe even something healthy instead of more fast food and expensive coffee!

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