Residents packed Catherine-de-Barnes village hall to condemn plans for a giant M42 service station earmarked for ancient woodland.
The £65 million development is set for a site between the motorway’s junctions 5 and 6. More than 60 villagers and Meriden MP Caroline Spelman attended the meeting to discuss the proposal, which is expected to create 300 extra jobs.
Coun Alison Rolf (Con, Bickenhill) said: “The meeting was unanimous in its opposition to such a development.
“The plans to build on green belt land cannot be supported.”
She told residents: “Make your views known to the developers and show the depth of feeling locally.
“This development is at the wrong time, with everything else that is happening in this area at the moment, and in the wrong place.”
The Woodland Trust, which works to protect ancient woodland, has also spoken out on plans to build on forests dating back to the 1600s.
Its lead campaigner for ancient woodland, Oliver Newham, said: “There is only two per cent of ancient woodland left in the UK, so we need to do everything we can to preserve it.
“This woodland dates back to at least the 1600s and it could even go back even further than that.”
Mr Newham said the proposal was similar to a scheme put forward by the same developer for a service station on the M1 at Sheffield.
“The plans in Sheffield have reached the planning application stage despite 7,500 people signing a petition against them,” he said.
“We are not against a service station but this is simply the wrong place for it.”