Residents are split over plans for a new motorway service station near an M4 junction in Wiltshire.

Plans have been formally submitted to Wiltshire Council for the construction of a new £30 million service station on land at junction 16 of the M4, just south of Swindon.

Applicants Moto Hospitality, the UK’s largest motorway services operator, recently revealed the full details of their proposal in a planning application to Wiltshire Council.

The scheme, which would create 150 jobs in the area and be open 24 hours a day every day, has created debate amongst residents.

During an ongoing consultation period led by Wiltshire Council, some locals voiced fears that the development is “unnecessary” and would “gridlock” traffic at junction 16.

One objector said: “I fail to see the need for the service station when there are others only a short distance away in either direction.

Swindon Advertiser: Plans for the new M4 servicesPlans for the new M4 services (Image: Moto Hospitality Limited)

“The junction has recently been updated in an attempt to improve traffic flow.

“It remains extremely busy and the additional traffic, especially large lorries, would cause even more congestion on the way into both Swindon and Royal Wootton Bassett.”

Another added: “This is not required. There are service stations at Membury and Leigh Delamere that are not far away.

“Junction 16 is already busy, especially during peak times, and confusing all the time.”

But Moto insists the plans have received strong “local support” and were developed after an extensive public consultation which gathered over 7,500 views.

The firm added that the community’s opinions have shaped the designs, which include potential food and drink options, EV charging stations, sustainable energy generation, and a vibrant green roof.

Moto believes the creation of 62 HGV spaces is crucial for the safety of drivers and will address a “critical shortage.”

Swindon Advertiser: Plans for the new M4 servicesPlans for the new M4 services (Image: Moto Hospitality Limited)

Among those to voice support for the development is South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland, who labelled the new services “much-needed”.

He said: "This is news that I welcome, as I have been previously contacted by several local residents who have raised issues with HGVs around Blagrove and the area being used as a toilet.

"This is very unpleasant, and a new Motorway Rest Area would provide a much-needed stopping and toilet point - as well, of course, as new jobs to the town."

Moto said that Sir Robert’s backing “underscores the importance of the initiative” and emphasised that the facility was vital for the well-being of tired drivers and those needing to access toilet facilities.