Westmorland Family and its partners have moved closer to developing a new motorway service area on the M56 modelled on the success of Tebay Services.

Cheshire East Council's strategic planning board has voted in favour of the development on Tatton Estate land at junctions 7 and 8 of the M56, where it would be known as Tatton Services. 

The Tatton Services partnership is a joint venture between Westmorland Family, Gloucester Services on the M5 and Cairn Lodge Services on the M74, and the Tatton Group.

The vision is based on the distinctive model that Westmorland operates, championing local food, craft and community “to create a sustainable business which embraces the future of motorway travel”. 

The proposal is said to fill gaps for motorway services areas in the strategic road network.

The landscape-led project lies within the Cheshire Green Belt so is designed to integrate sensitively with its surroundings, within a site contained by existing road infrastructure.

The plan is to deliver biodiversity enhancement, sustainable water management features and improved connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians. The buildings have been designed by Gloucester Services designer, Howells.

Sarah Dunning, chair of Westmorland Limited, said: “We’re delighted and are fully committed to building Tatton Services, which will celebrate Cheshire and all that it has to offer. The services will create quality jobs and support local producers and communities alongside meeting the growing needs of electric car drivers.

“We are grateful for the engagement and support received from local councillors, businesses, residents, and the local community and look forward to bringing our unique model of motorway services to the M56.

“We started our business from our family’s hill farm in Cumbria in 1972. Today we run motorway services, but the way we do it still reflects and celebrates our beginnings.”

If approved, Tatton Services will have a fuel refilling station, a farm shop and kitchen, and a 100-bed hotel, all with energy efficiency and generation technologies, as well as 96 EV charging spaces.

It is expected to create 325 new jobs, with a commitment to local employment, training and working with local businesses to source produce for sale on site.

As the project is in the green belt, the next stage is for the local planning authority to consult the secretary of state.