REVISED designs for a £35 million motorway service station near Brookthorpe have been approved by Stroud District Council's development control committee.

The alterations to the original proposals, which consist of changes to the design of the two petrol filling stations, as well as modifications to the proposed drainage system and slip roads, were supported by a majority of committee members last Tuesday, November 20.

Planning permission for the service station, which will be situated between junctions 11a and 12 of the M5, was originally granted back in August 2010.

However, the planning report presented to the committee said alterations to the existing plans were needed to ensure they complied with health and safety legislation.

The report, authored by an SDC planning officer, said the new petrol station designs put forward by Westmorland Ltd and Gloucestershire Gateway Trust did not 'materially depart from the original concept of the scheme'.

Her report added that there would be 'no adverse impact on the landscape' and that distant views from the AONB and Severn Vale would actually be improved as a result.

However, two members of the committee who were both opposed to the original scheme Ð Cllr David Drew (Lab, Paganhill) and Cllr John Marjoram (Green, Trinity) Ðobjected to the changes.

Cllr Drew said he thought the modifications needed to be 'looked at more thoroughly', while Cllr Marjoram said he felt they were simply about cost cutting. 

The new Conservative leader Keith Pearson (Upton St Leonards), who attended the meeting to speak on behalf of Brookthorpe with Whaddon Parish Council, also criticised the changes, saying they were a 'cost saving exercise' and a 'watering down of the original plans'.

But, speaking after the meeting, SDC's executive member for regeneration Roger Sanders welcomed the changes and praised the development.

He said it would create 300 new jobs and would help to boost the local economy by providing opportunities for businesses based in the Five Valleys.