Large services operators took legal action hoping to block a rival application to build a motorway service station, on the grounds that Stroud District Council acted unlawfully when it granted planning permission in 2010.

One claim cited was that a clause in the agreement requiring the operator to source a percentage of goods locally was illegal. The winning bid included ‘no franchises, homemade food and locally-sourced products’ and an undertaking to employ 200 local people during construction and 300 on completion.

At a judicial review held in January a judge ruled that the council had acted lawfully and that the planning permission should stand. Costs were awarded to Stroud District Council but less than a month later the claimants asked for leave to appeal, again claiming that the requirement to source goods locally was unlawful.

However, a second judge ruled last month that there were no such grounds for appeal. Philip Skill, head of planning for SDC said:

“The council is delighted that the Court of Appeal has refused to give leave to appeal over the single issue of selling locally produced goods at the facility. The Council has a policy of promoting sustainable development and the offer from Gloucestershire Gateway Ltd to source a significant amount of their goods from the local economy is to be welcomed.”