Adult shop on A1M at Sawtry could be demolished in new plans

The adult shop on the A1M at Sawtry could be demolished as part of plans for a new Moto service station. 

The adult shop on the A1M at Sawtry could be demolished as part of plans for a new Moto service station. - Credit: ARCHANT

A major new Moto motorway service area is set to get the go-ahead for a site beside the A1(M) at Sawtry - bringing more than 120 new jobs and an array of retail outlets.

But adult shop operator Pulse and Cocktails, whose premises would be demolished, has objected and said it wanted to be incorporated into the scheme.

There have also been objections from rival service area operator Extra which has a site at nearby Peterborough.

Sawtry Parish Council is backing the development which it says would tidy up a neglected site, bring jobs and additional facilities for the village.

Planners at Huntingdonshire District Council are recommending approval for the plan by Moto Hospitality Ltd, despite it falling outside the recognised develop area, subject to the agreement of payments from the developer to offset the impact of the site.

Councillors will consider the scheme, between Toll Bar Way and Great North Road, at a meeting of the authority’s Development Management Committee on February 15.

The service area would bring parking for 164 cars plus six spaces for staff, 38 lorry places, eight for coaches, four for motorhomes and 10 for motorcycles, together with electrical recharging points. However, there would be no room for holding abnormal loads which would normally be required.
It would also lead to the demolition of a disused motel, a dwelling associated with a former filling station and the adult shop.

In addition to the typical service area facilities, the plan includes branches of Greggs, W H Smith, M&S, Burger King, KFC, Costa, toilets, staff facilities and a general seating area, which Moto said would create the equivalent of 121 full time jobs.

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The council received 33 representations, 11 from residents opposing the scheme and 10 came from local people supporting it. Moto also put in objections to do with lack of information and suitability of the proposed site. The Road Haulage Association supported the scheme.

Pulse and Cocktails said it had made a lot of investment in its shop and that demolition would lead to lost jobs. It asked to be incorporated in the main development.

Council planners were concerned that proposed parking was at minimum standards and that although the service area was designed to serve the northbound carriageway there were insufficient figures for users travelling south and from Sawtry.
But it concluded: “It is considered that, in this instance, material considerations are such as to outweigh the conflict with the development plan and therefore planning permission should be granted.”
 

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