Residents have issued renewed calls for a moratorium on approving developments beside one of the North’s most congested junctions as a scheme to build more fast food restaurants and a fuel station there received unanimous support from councillors.
Members of North Yorkshire Council’s Richmond constituency planning committee said they were minded to approve a scheme for two drive-thrus food outlets and a petrol station on the west side of Scotch Corner, subject to the developer agreeing to fund the creation of bus stops by the site.
The meeting heard it had been projected there would be 12,000 visitors a day to a previously approved scheme for a designer outlet village, where there were plans for 27 food outlets, beside the proposed drive-through restaurants, some local residents were convinced the proposal would draw traffic away from the existing motorway services area.
Councillors were told Moto had received planning consent for a drive-thru restaurant at its services area on the other side of the roundabout, McDonald’s had applied to build a restaurant to the north of the junction, while a long-awaited upgrade of the A66 was forecast to increase traffic on the junction by a third.
The meeting heard Highways England had predicted the junction had capacity to deal with extra traffic from the scheme, but there were concerns a pedestrian crossing to the proposed restaurants could exacerbate congestion on the roundabout.
Objecting on behalf of some Middleton Tyas residents, Steve Hill questioned the need for the food outlets, saying an approved new motorway services area, just five miles away at the A1(M) Catterick junction, featuring many food outlets, would undermine the viability of all the planned fast food restaurants at Scotch Corner.
He told the meeting residents were concerned over the lack of a strategic approach to developments at Scotch Corner and wanted the latest proposal deferred at least until the impact of the designer outlet village could be assessed.
Mr Hill said while residents’ greatest concern was over increasing traffic at the A1(M) and A66 junction, saying it was frequently gridlocked at busy times, the impact of the development on the rural landscape, increased pollution and litter were also issues.
However, North Richmondshire division councillor Angus Thompson said while he agreed a strategic approach was needed at Scotch Corner, the former Dalesway Lodge site had become “an absolute eyesore” and that he did not believe the proposal would increase traffic on the roundabout.
He said: “It is a brownfield site. If it were a greenfield site I think it would be an entirely different proposition.”
Coun Thompson said Middleton Tyas Parish Council had expressed “in no uncertain terms” that it was in favour of the development, as it would move some of the traffic from the east side of the A1(M) and could help drive down fuel prices in the vicinity.