Further plan to expand services beside A1(M) unveiled

Exelby Services. Photo: Google.

The rapid expansion of services for motorists beside the A1(M) in North Yorkshire could continue with proposals to build a gym for lorry drivers and attract tourists being unveiled.

Less than a decade after the £6.5m Exelby Services opened north of Leeming Bar next to junction 51 of the A1(M), the firm has unveiled a proposal to overhaul the service area, including building a gymnasium for long distance lorry drivers and installing a former Red Arrows plane.

The move comes as residents of nearby areas have questioned the amount of development being approved alongside the motorway, saying the scale of development is unnecessary and will damage communities and perceptions of North Yorkshire.

After many years of opposition from residents, in 2021 Welcome Break was granted planning permission to build a motorway service area at Kirby Hill, 16 miles south of Exelby Services.

Last year, a proposal to build an expansive motorway service area across a wildlife haven six miles to the north of Exelby Services, near Catterick Village was approved partly because neither Exelby Services or another long-established service area at Scotch Corner met criteria to be named an official motorway service area.

Alongside proposals lodged to further develop the Scotch Corner services, Leeming Bar Services continues to operate less than a mile from Exelby Services.

Meanwhile, a petition launched earlier this month calling for the Catterick Village services plan to be scrapped has attracted hundreds of backers.

On the Campaign to save Catterick’s Wildfowl Habitat Facebook page residents accused the former Richmondshire council and North Yorkshire Council of showing “total contempt” towards villagers over the developments.

One resident wrote: “As and when these flawed projects come home to roost, in an environmental or health affecting way, they will no doubt be nowhere to be seen and deny ever knowing anything about anything.”

In planning documents lodged with North Yorkshire Council, Exelby Services said it also wanted to extend its shop, add electric vehicle bays and extra parking.

The application states: “Exelby Services is strategically located along the A1(M) motorway, making it a popular stopover particularly for HGV drivers commuting between London and the Northeast of England. Its a convenient location and its comprehensive range of services make it a significant pit-stop for motorists seeking a break during their journey.”

“Furthermore, the development will not only have a positive impact on the existing petrol filling station, but it will also not cause any significant environmental or community issues.”

The proposals also feature installing a decommissioned Red Arrow Hawk T1A XX306 set on a pedestal on the site, to pay tribute to the work of the nearby RAF Leeming base.

The papers state: “The addition of the RAF plane on the client’s site not only provides a point of interest to visitors but also serves as a symbol of the rich history and the importance of the RAF Leeming base in protecting the country.”

1 Comment

  1. much better to support a local family business than faceless companies who have no thoughts for the lives of local people

Comments are closed.