Protesters hail motorway services victory

Flasback 2009: Kirby Hill RAMS protest against Heather Ive Associates outside Harrgate's council office.

Flasback 2009: Kirby Hill RAMS protest against Heather Ive Associates outside Harrgate's council office.

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Protesters in Ripon heaved a sigh of relief after winning a 16-year campaign to stop motorway services from being built on their doorsteps.

Kirby Hill’s Residents Against Motorway Services (RAMS) were victorious this week as the Secretary of State rejected planning permission to build a new motorway service area (MSA) in the rural village, after a 16-year battle with property developers Heather Ive Associates.

RAMS chairman Gareth Owens said: “It’s a huge sigh of relief. Kirby Hill is completely the wrong area for a motorway service. It would cause substantial harm to the environment and landscape. We have been able to push forward these arguments and the Government has listened more and more over the years.”

Campaigners in Melmerby were also celebrating this week after the Government refused planning permission to build an MSA at the field south of the A1/ A61 junction at Hotton Conyers, arguing that it would cause visual harm to the landscape.

Lady Graham of Norton Conyers, who was among the team who campaigned against the Melmerby MSA, said: “We are profoundly grateful that 40 acres of prime agricultural land at Baldersby and Ripon have been saved from an exceptionally crass development.”

Planning permission has been awarded to two developments which will sit within three miles from each other on the A1(M) at Leeming Bar.

Motel Leeming Services on Bedale Road – which has already been in business on the site at Leeming Bar since 1961 – and Exelby Service Ltd have been given the green light by the Secretary of State Eric Pickles.

• For the full story see this week’s Gazette (available from Thursday, October 25).