PLANS to create a Tebay-style motorway services off the M56 in Cheshire look set to be approved.

Cheshire East Council's strategic planning board will next week discuss the proposal submitted by Tatton Services to build the scheme between junctions seven and eight.

The concept is based on the M6's successful Tebay Services, run by the Westmorland family, who have teamed up with the Tatton Estate to bring their model to Cheshire.

If approved, the site would feature a farm shop, kitchen and hotel, as well as create 558 jobs during its expected two-year construction, and employ 223 staff.

The new Tatton Services has divided opinion, receiving 150 letters of objection and 30 of support, but has been recommended for approval with conditions by planning officers.

A final decision however will come from the government as the application would need to be referred to the Secretary of State. 

In their report, Cheshire East planning officers state: "The proposed motorway service area is inappropriate development in the Green Belt, which reduces openness and encroaches into the countryside.

Knutsford Guardian: The Tatton Services masterplanThe Tatton Services masterplan (Image: Glenn Howells Architects)

"Whilst there will be some localised harm to the open rural character of the site, the visual effects are tempered by the position of the site surrounded by the strategic road network and proposed landscaping.

"The design approach for the development to reflect a modern farmstead is a positive aspect of the proposal, and adequate open space is provided having regard to the location, type and scale of development.

"There are not considered to be any preferable alternative sites for the services.

"There are a range of socio-economic benefits arising from the proposal including significant job creation during construction and operation, and specific benefits to the local economy.

Knutsford Guardian: A CGI image of how the services could lookA CGI image of how the services could look (Image: Westmorland family)

"Overall, the identified benefits of the proposed development are considered to clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness and the other identified harm in this case.

"Very special circumstances are therefore considered to exist."

The strategic planning board will meet on October 25.