Axis leads large multi-disciplinary teams on the planning of Welcome Break and Applegreen’s MSAs and TRSAs, with a focus on promoting high quality design solutions that are well assimilated into their settings.
National policy requires that Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) and Trunk Road Services Areas (TRSAs) deliver solutions for motorist safety and welfare but there are gaps in the strategic road network where these requirements are not being met.
Motorway Service Areas pose a real planning challenge, with developments typically in excess of 15 hectares and set in green belt or open countryside locations. There’s also a continual requirement to refresh existing service areas with new and modern solutions that meet customer demand, such as electrical vehicle (EV) charging.
Welcome Break and their major shareholder Applegreen appointed Axis to help plan several development projects throughout the UK.
Our priority is to shift the sector’s mentality from off-the-peg facilities to truly bespoke designs that retain a sense of place and local landscape character, in-keeping with planning best practice.
Working closely with the client, we draw up planning applications for development projects throughout the UK that are strongly landscape led, sustainable in terms of materials, energy and staff travel, and underpinned by adherence to complex highway standards. Once projects are approved, we also advise Welcome Break with ongoing live proposals, which currently include numerous general roadside service stations and MSAs.
Our ongoing partnership with Welcome Break and Applegreen has seen us deliver planning permission for a number of new roadside service areas, including the Vale of York MSA on the A1(M) between junctions 48 and 49 within Harrogate Borough, and Rotherham MSA on junction 33 of the M1.
The former was won on appeal and, in both cases, the Axis team overcame competition from rival operators with alternative proposals.
Nick Roberts, Director at Axis, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Welcome Break and Applegreen in delivering a new generation of service areas in what is a very competitive and challenging environment from a planning perspective. The MSAs are large, complex applications where we can be appointing and managing more than a dozen consultancies on the client’s behalf. I am certain our extensive planning project management skills are central to the great results we are achieving.”
Eugene Moore, Chief Development and Future Fuels Director at Applegreen (for Welcome Break), commented: “Nick and the Axis team head up our planning projects throughout the UK with a commitment, diligence and quality of work we seldom see elsewhere. They have always been very proactive, keeping us on the front foot. They’ve delivered some great successes and I have no doubt more will follow.”
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