FAQs

WHY IS A MSA AT JUNCTION 20 NOT A BETTER SOLUTION?

Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) are not ‘footloose’ developments as they can only be built alongside the Motorway they serve.

Government policy (Circular 02/2013) has a clear preference for ‘on-line’ MSAs (i.e. not connected to Junctions) as they are more convenient to road users and more likely to encourage them to stop. They also avoid the creation of any increase in traffic at existing Junctions.

Leaflets providing a summary of our Alternative Sites search were available at the exhibitions and are available to view on the DOWNLOADS section of this website.  A full Alternative Site Assessment has been submitted with the application and is available to view on the Council’s website.

The most suitable location is the site of Warren Farm, east of Denham Lane, Chalfont St Peter (adjacent to the former landfill site). Here an ‘on-line’ MSA can be provided with safe access to and from the M25, contained within an extensive, attractively landscaped area.

WHY ARE ELECTRIC CHARGING POINTS IMPORTANT?

The Government is committed to ensuring that all new vehicles sold after 2040 are powered by alternative fuels. This means that over the next 20 years a network of recharging stations needs to be put in place across the country. Highways England is seeking to ensuring a national network of plug-in EV charging points is available every 20 miles on the Motorway Network. Large gaps between MSAs will limit uptake of low emissions vehicles as a result of ‘range anxiety’. Extra is at the forefront of alternative fuel provision on the Motorway Network.

WHY IS YOUR SITE BETWEEN JUNCTIONS RATHER THAN AT A JUNCTION?

WHY IS YOUR SITE BETWEEN JUNCTIONS RATHER THAN AT A JUNCTION?

Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) are not ‘footloose’ developments as they can only be built alongside the Motorway they serve

Government policy (Circular 02/2013) has a clear preference for ‘on-line’ MSAs (i.e. not connected to Junctions) as they are more convenient to road users and more likely to encourage them to stop. They also avoid the creation of any increase in traffic at existing Junctions.

Leaflets providing a summary of our Alternative Sites search were available at the exhibitions and are available to view on the DOWNLOADS section of this website.  A full Alternative Site Assessment has been submitted with the application and is available to view on the Council’s website

The most suitable location is the site of Warren Farm, east of Denham Lane, Chalfont St Peter (adjacent to the former landfill site). Here an ‘on-line’ MSA can be provided with safe access to and from the M25, contained within an extensive, attractively landscaped area.

WHY DO WE NEED A MOTORWAY SERVICE AREA?

Most people will have stopped at a MSA at some point in time. MSAs are important as they provide the opportunity for drivers and passengers to take regular breaks on long journeys, particularly as driver fatigue accounts for 20% of accidents on motorways and monotonous roads (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, RoSPA). Fatigue related accidents are to a large extent avoidable if the appropriate facilities exist for drivers to take a break. Drivers of many commercial and public service vehicles need to take statutory breaks and have other working time restrictions, so MSAs also assist meeting these requirements.

WHY DOES THE MSA HAVE TO BE HERE, PARTICULARLY AS IT IS SO CLOSE TO BEACONSFIELD MSA?

WHY DOES THE MSA HAVE TO BE HERE, PARTICULARLY AS IT IS SO CLOSE TO BEACONSFIELD MSA?

Government policy relating to MSAs is set out in the Department for Transport Circular 02/2013. Policy seeks to ensure that drivers have the opportunity to take a break at intervals of no more than 28 miles or 30 minutes travelling time. If a gap of more than 28 miles/30 minutes travelling time between MSAs exists, then there is a ‘need’ for a new MSA.

On this part of the Motorway Network (to the west and north of Greater London), there are 14 routes where the distance between existing MSAs exceeds 28 miles. Some of these gaps are substantial; with 9 of these being over 40 miles, including 2 gaps of 60 miles or more.

Based on these distances it is clear there is a significant need for a MSA on this section of the Motorway Network.

WHAT WILL THE IMPACT BE ON LOCAL ROADS FROM THE MSA?

The MSA will only be accessible from the M25. Traffic using the southbound carriageway will reach the MSA via a new bridge over the M25 to a new roundabout. This new roundabout would also serve the northbound carriageway.

Once operational, there will be no road connection between the MSA and the local road network (i.e. to Denham Lane, Shire Lane and West Hyde Lane), with all vehicles accessing the site via the M25. For the vast majority of the construction period, traffic will also access the site via the M25. The only exception to this is the need for access from the local roads for the creation of the ‘construction access’ from the Motorway.

WHAT WILL THE IMPACT BE ON LOCAL ROADS DURING CONSTRUCTION?

The MSA will only be accessible from the M25. Traffic using the southbound carriageway will reach the MSA via a new bridge over the M25 to a new roundabout. This new roundabout would also serve the northbound carriageway.

 

Once operational, there will be no road connection between the MSA and the local road network (i.e. to Denham Lane, Shire Lane and West Hyde Lane), with all vehicles accessing the site via the M25. For the vast majority of the construction period, traffic will also access the site via the M25. The only exception to this is the need for access from the local roads for the creation of the ‘construction access’ from the Motorway.

THE AREA IS GREEN BELT AND SHOULD BE PROTECTED FROM DEVELOPMENT – WHY IS A MSA ACCEPTABLE HERE?

This site, along with the M25 and the wider Motorway Network in this area, are all located in the London Green Belt. This means that the only way the road safety and welfare need on this part of the Motorway Network can be met is through MSA development in the Green Belt.

 

Government Policy is clear that in order for development to be allowed in the Green Belt ‘very special circumstances’ must first be proved. It has been confirmed on a number of occasions that where there is a significant safety and welfare need for a new MSA, this can amount to the ‘very special circumstances’ which must then be weighed against potential harm to the Green Belt.

 

Extra has spent considerable time exploring how potential harm to the Green Belt can be minimised. As a result the proposed MSA will serve both carriages of the Motorway, but importantly with all facilities located within a single site situated adjacent to the western side of the M25. The western side was selected as the development could be located in a valley, minimizing views from the wider area. The developed area of the site has been kept to a minimum whilst also ensuring that the minimum number of parking spaces required by the Department for Transport are accommodated and that vehicles can flow well around the site.

WHY IS THIS SITE LOCATED ON JUST ONE SIDE OF THE M25?

Extra has spent considerable time exploring how potential harm to the Green Belt can be minimised. As a result the proposed MSA will serve both carriages of the Motorway, but importantly with all facilities located within a single site situated adjacent to the western side of the M25. The western side was selected as the development could be located in a valley, minimizing views from the wider area. The developed area of the site has been kept to a minimum whilst also ensuring that the minimum number of parking spaces required by the Department for Transport are accommodated and that vehicles can flow well around the site.

HOW WILL LOCAL PEOPLE BENEFIT FROM THE PROJECT?

Extra is keen to ensure that local communities also benefit from a new MSA. Extra is a specialist developer, operator and long term investment owner of MSA facilities and will be a neighbour for many years to come.

Extra are keen to develop a positive relationship with neighbours and would very much welcome suggestions regarding the type of local benefits that could be supported through the MSA development.

By way of example, at Extra’s new Leeds Skelton Lake MSA development, a new Visitor Centre has been provided in conjunction with the RSPB.

 

Possible benefits associated with the new MSA on the M25 could include:

  • New publicly accessible parkland;

  • Improved footpath links between Chalfont St Peter and the Colne Valley Regional Park

  • New employment opportunities (construction, retail, hospitality, management etc.)

WHAT WILDLIFE AND BIODIVERSITY BENEFITS WILL RESULT FROM THE MSA?

Extra is keen to ensure that local communities also benefit from a new MSA. Extra is a specialist developer, operator and long-term investment owner of MSA facilities and will be a neighbour for many years to come.

Extra are keen to develop a positive relationship with neighbours and would very much welcome suggestions regarding the type of local benefits that could be supported through the MSA development.

By way of example, at Extra’s new Leeds Skelton Lake MSA development, a new Visitor Centre has been provided in conjunction with the RSPB.

Possible benefits associated with the new MSA on the M25 could include:

  • New woodland planting to improve connectivity between existing areas of ancient woodland (Bloom Wood) and other areas of woodland.

  • Habitat restoration and management for birds such as Corn Bunting;

  • New ponds to maximise biodiversity benefit;

  • New hedgerow and meadow planting on a former landfill site. Creating a network and cross site linkages for biodiversity benefit; and

  • Conservation and management of woodland, hedgerows, meadows and boundaries

HOW MANY JOBS WILL BE CREATED?

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A MSA?

Most people will have stopped at a MSA at some point in time. MSAs are important as they provide the opportunity for drivers and passengers to take regular breaks on long journeys, particularly as driver fatigue accounts for 20% of accidents on motorways and monotonous roads (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, RoSPA). Fatigue related accidents are to a large extent avoidable if the appropriate facilities exist for drivers to take a break. Drivers of many commercial and public service vehicles need to take statutory breaks and have other working time restrictions, so MSAs also assist meeting these requirements.

WHO DECIDES ON THE APPLICATION?

We will consider all the feedback and suggestions received as part of this consultation and use them to help shape the proposals for the M25 West (Warren Farm) Motorway Service Area. A planning application has been submitted to Chiltern District Council and is available to view on their website (planning reference PL/19/2260/OA).  Chiltern District Council will now review and determine this application.

ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATIVE PLACES ON THE M25 THAT YOU HAVE LOOKED AT?

Leaflets providing a summary of our Alternative Sites search were available at the exhibitions and are available to view on the DOWNLOADS section of this website.  A full Alternative Site Assessment has been submitted with the application and is available to view on the Council’s website.

WHEN WILL EXTRA BE SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION?

A planning application has been submitted to Chiltern District Council and is available to view on their website (planning reference PL/19/2260/OA).

IF THE APPLICATION IS SUCCESSFUL, WHEN WILL THE CONSTRUCTION BEGIN AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?

Based on Extra’s experience elsewhere, construction is likely to last 12 – 15 months.

The application proposals will provide further detail on mitigation to be provided during the construction phase which will be secured by a condition relating to a Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP).