Ward Hadaway Law Firm

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100 jobs saved in planning battle victory

100 jobs have been saved and up to 50 more are now set to be created after a long-established servicestation in North Yorkshire won a three-year planning battle with help from law firm Ward Hadaway.

Leeming Bar Services on the A1 near Northallerton has been facing an uncertain future since 2009 with theupgrading of the Barton to Dishforth section of the road from a two-lane dual carriageway to a three-lane motorwaywhich opened this spring.

Leeming Bar Services’ planning application to expand the existing site to a full motorway service area signedfrom the new motorway in line with the upgrade were drawn into two public inquiries after three rival bids for newmotorway service areas on the A1(M) were submitted.

The decision was eventually made by the Secretary of State who has ruled in favour of Leeming Bar Services’plans and dismissed the rival bids.

Leeming Bar Services owner Carl Les, whose family have owned the business for over 50 years, said the decisionwas “a victory for common sense” and would remove the uncertainty which has clouded the service station’s futurefor the past three years.

Mr Les said: “We are very pleased and very relieved. This was the biggest threat to our existence in our history so Iam delighted and so relieved for my staff who have worked so hard to keep us going.”

“We are pretty unusual in the hospitality business in that most of our staff have worked here for a number of yearsso I am so relieved that this sword of Damocles which has been held over us for the past three years has beenremoved.

“I see this as a victory for common sense because we have been here for over 50 years and are a well-establishedbusiness; it’s a victory for the environment because this is a brownfield site and the other proposals were forgreenfield sites and it’s a victory for the Government’s localism agenda as it is putting local people in charge ofwhat goes on in their areas.”

Mr Les said the decision safeguarded the jobs of the existing 100-strong workforce at Leeming Bar Services andwould result in the creation of up to 50 more posts.

He said: “We have around 100 people working here at the moment, but I would expect that to be close to 150 in ashort period of time.

“We are looking to recruit apprentices for most of the additional jobs in our part of the business because we believein investing in the local community and its future.

“This decision is good news for the local economy because we always try to deal with local suppliers whereverpossible, from electricians and plumbers to the guy who sells us the sausages.”

David Brocklehurst, Associate, and Chartered Town Planner in the Planning team at Ward Hadaway, said: “We are delighted with the Secretary of State’s decision which is terrific news for Carl and his staff and a vindication of threeyears of hard work and persistence.

“The Secretary of State backed Leeming Bar Services’ plans because it is an existing business which will notrequire any greenfield land to be built on, it is the only scheme of the motorway service area plans proposed thatis in accordance with the development plan and it is the scheme which is seen to deliver the improved servicesquickest given that the new stretch of motorway is already open.

“It is really pleasing for us as a firm to have played a part in securing this decision.”

Carl Les said: “The team at Ward Hadaway, their expertise and the experts they put together to put forward ourcase did an excellent job in helping us to secure this decision.”

The expansion plans for Leeming Bar Services include improved parking and fuel facilities, enhanced customerfacilities building, restaurant, shop and hotel and improved grounds including a nature and play area.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ward Hadaway Law Firm .

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