Delivering a brand new motorway service station with the green light from key stakeholders

Skelton Lake Services, Leeds – Extra MSA Group

Extra Motorway Service Area Group wanted to secure planning permission for a £60m motorway service area (MSA) on the M1. With the site allocated for housing, and a lake with birds and wildlife nearby, there was plenty of work to be done.

We were asked to create the narrative and benefits of the proposal, then communicate them to stakeholders across Leeds. This needed to secure a positive planning decision from Leeds City Council.

What we did

We helped build relationships across the city region, identifying key stakeholders, and developing the best message for each which addressed their concerns and outlined the opportunities. We created a project website, set-up and ran a series of community exhibitions around the site.

We also produced and distributed a detailed consultation brochure that went to 11,000 local households and businesses.

We maintained strong relationships throughout the planning process, encouraged letters of support from key advocates, and kept elected members briefed.

Community involvement

Support for the project was secured from Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds LEP, local community organisation Friends of Rothwell Country Park and environmental group, Swillington Ings Bird Group. Our expertise in political, stakeholder and community engagement, nurtured positive relationships with Leeds’ planning department and elected members.

The results

When the application went before Leeds’ planning committee it was unanimously approved with widespread stakeholder and community support.