Between junctions’ 11a and 12, the £35 million Gloucester Gateway project, has been approved by the Stroud District Council. As a whole, the project is a green service station on a Cotsworld stretch of the M5. Due for completion in 2013, the project is a product of the combined efforts of both the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT) and Westmorland Limited.
From the Gloucestershire Gateway Project website,
The Gloucestershire Gateway Limited aims to set new standards in the industry while offering local benefit through an innovative green business model. It is proposed that the MSA will employ 300 people with an investment of around £35 million.
In line with the Highways Agency’s objectives, the aim is to create a customer experience which will enhance and diversify existing MSA provision in the UK. The proposals are based on the model of Tebay Services on the M6 in Cumbria. There will be no franchises within the business; all food sold in the cafes will be high quality, fresh and made within the business and there will be a firm commitment to sourcing from small local producers.
That is why Stonehouse Conservative Councilor Phil Bevan, said: “Whilst I fully understand the disappointment of those who opposed the development, the benefits to those in my ward will be enormous and I will work closely with the company to ensure the best for my constituents.” Many are opposed to the project but to many, it offers more opportunities for the environment and the public. Westmoreland emphasizes that the whole venture is environmentally-friendly and is guaranteed to chew away any trace of carbon.
Furthermore, fast food chains will be out of the picture and will be replaced with locally-sourced products. To cut costs on fuel, electric vehicle charging points will be built into car parks together with filling stations. Hopefully, measures like these can be accustomed to the use of bio-fuel pumps in the future.
Westmoreland has been into this business for so many years and so they have the necessary expertise to bring what they have in Cumbria to Gloucestershire. Westmoreland’s chief executive, Sarah Dunning, said: “We have 38 years experience of delivering local benefit in Cumbria and we look forward to doing the same in Gloucestershire.” Indeed, the Gloucester Gateway Project is one of the things that everyone should look forward to in 2013.
The developers claim that the project will be using up 20% of the energy of a conventional service station while 10% will be provided by on-site renewable energy technologies. Timber buildings will also be revolutionized as they will be made “homely and rural” by sourcing wood from the nearby Forest of Dean. This way, these infrastructures will fit in with the environment.
To lessen car journeys, staff will be bussed in. Half of the catering and retail wastes will be recycled or will be composted on site so that it can be utilized in the gardens. Rainwater will also be harvested and used up. Plus, developers also guarantee that new green jobs will be created out from this service station.