Motorway Services Online

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Road: M62 at J11
Location: Birchwood, Warrington
Developer: Extra
Grid reference: SJ669933 (SABRE Maps)

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Warrington site layout.
The planned road and site layout.

In late 2018, Extra announced that they intended to build a service area at J11 of the M62, at Birchwood. They argued that it would fill a large gap in existing service area provision, although their evidence uses a convoluted route from Birch services to Charnock Richard via Croft.

The proposal was rejected by councillors in June 2021, largely because it infringes on the green belt with what they argued was a lack of proven need.

The junction is on the edge of Warrington and becoming increasingly industrialised. A dual carriageway would have run from the roundabout down to the service area, before looping around the lorry park. This would have replaced Sliver Lane and the closed off entrance to Birchwood Way which is currently used mostly for parking and fly-tipping. It used to provide access to a landfill site.

Extra said their plan will "echo surrounding agricultural buildings". In a statement, they also promised "popular stores and retail outlets such as Leon, PizzaExpress, Greggs, Starbucks, Burger King, McDonald's and WHSmith", as well as a hotel. These would have been spread out across two storeys, with the ground floor arranged around an atrium while the upper floor would likely be used as a meeting space or lounge.

Despite the ordinary-sounding layout, from the outside the building would have looked nothing like any other service station - more like a waterside apartment. Extra described their plan as a "new concept" and "world class" facility, with up to 400 jobs created.

Extra were using the name Warrington to describe their proposal, despite the existing service area at Burtonwood actually being much closer to Warrington.

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