A £20million motorway service area near Sawtry, which could create 121 new jobs, has moved a step closer.

What the site currently looks like in SawtryWhat the site currently looks like in Sawtry

Moto Hospitality Ltd, one of the nation's biggest motorway service area (MSA) providers, has formally submitted plans for the facility, at Junction 15 on the A1(M).

It has already been in consultation with planners at Huntingdonshire District Council who will now consider the scheme which involves the demolition and clearance of a derelict budget motel which stands on the site at Toll Bar Way.

The scheme involves an "amenity building" for customers, a filling station, toilets, parking with 158 spaces for cars and a further 38 spaces for lorries. There would also be 12 electric charging points.

The amenity building is expected to contain food firm Greggs, newsagents W H Smith, M&S Simply Food, Burger King, KFC, an "amusement gaming area" and coffee outlet Costa.

An artists impression of what the new service station in Sawtry could look like An artists impression of what the new service station in Sawtry could look like

Moto, which was founded in 1962 and originally traded as Granada, is one of the nation's biggest MSA operators, with more than 45 locations and 5,000 staff.

It is planning to open around 10 new service areas in the coming years.

Information included in the firm's planning application, said: "The development of the proposed MSA is a significant construction project for the local area, drawing in businesses and labour from across the region. This will have an effect on the viability of firms throughout the supply chain which may result in investment and expansion of smaller firms in the local area. Futhermore, this represents a considerable number of additional construction jobs in the local area's construction sector."

The firm said: "Upon completion, the MSA will provide 121 permanent jobs on site. MSAs are not transient employers due to the complexity of the infrastructure in which they operate, so these extra jobs are permanent additions to the local economy and likely to have a direct positive impact on the local area."

Moto said a job fair to fill the vacancies was likely to be held in Sawtry and that the majority of the posts were expected to go to local residents.

It said that such a use for the site, on the northbound carriageway, had already been established and that consultations with the public had been encouraging.

The firm said there was a need for an MSA at Sawtry.

"MSAs are important because drivers are advised to take a 15 minute break every two hours to prevent tiredness-related accidents," it said.

"MSAs provide drivers and their passengers with the opportunity to rest, visit the toilet and take on refreshments."