16/01/2013

First NI Motorway Service Stations Announced

Northern Ireland’s first ever motorway service stations have been granted planning permission.

Currently, motorists have to leave the motorway in order to find a service station, but the two developments planned for the M2, along with the two to follow on the M1, will offer drivers direct slip road access from both directions.

The M2 stations will be located opposite each other on either side of the motorway at Browns Road, Ballycraigy, while the proposed service stations on the M1 will be located opposite each other between Lisburn and Belfast.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: "New motorway service stations are a first for Northern Ireland. This will be good for travellers and good for jobs. Their development will also provide a significant boost to the local economy, with a potential investment of some £20m.

"In bringing forward these recommendations my officials have been mindful that it is crucial that the planning system delivers for applicants who, despite difficult conditions, have the confidence to invest in Northern Ireland and provide significant employment generating activities. "

The announcement follows proposals for the phased motorway development which were submitted late last year by Petrogas Ltd.

Petrogas operate all the motorway service areas across Ireland under the Applegreen brand.

DOE Planning recommended approval for the phased development of these new motorway service areas on the M1 and M2 motorways.

Newtownabbey Borough Council has agreed to the proposals, while Lisburn City Council will be consulted at a meeting on the evening of 16 January.

(IT)

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