Objections to new KFC and Starbucks on A140
- Credit: Leigh Trevail
Plans for a new KFC and Starbucks on the Norfolk/Suffolk border have “not been thought out”, according to councillors who have raised a host of objections.
Proposals have been submitted to build a fast-food restaurant and coffee house on land at the A140/A143 junction, Bridge Road Scole bypass, in Stuston.
In planning documents submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC), consultants Pegasus Group - writing on behalf of Harkalm Developments - say the scheme would result in "high-quality roadside services at a key junction".
But neighbouring villages have raised concerns about the land currently used as a floodplain, which was reported to have been two feet under water during the recent Christmas floods.
Graham Moore, chairman of Scole Parish Council, said: "The local public are concerned. There are some people who support this in the village, but I think it’s fair to say the majority do not.
“The applicant stated that the BP garage across the road should be used as a precedent.
“But our feeling is that it shouldn't be used as an example because it’s not on a floodplain, its further from Scole, it's not next to our pocket park and it's not on a Roman settlement.
“We have also pointed out that the flood risk is about six times higher than they quote on the documentation. At Christmas it was like a lake.
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“We have noticed that the River Waveney is getting much heavier flows in heavy rain. Hence flood plains are going to be key to moderating that."
In documents online the developer states that a flood risk assessment has been submitted, “taking into consideration the potential impact of the proposals on both the site and the surrounding area in regard to flooding”.
It also states that the units will be “floodable”.
The land is in an Environment Agency Flood Zone 3, meaning there is a "one in 100 or greater" annual probability of annual flooding.
The documents continue: “The development will be linked to the Environment Agency’s Flood Warning Service to allow the site to be evacuated when there is a risk of flooding, and the roadways within the development are recommended to be graded to route floodwater from the existing land drain to the north, along the proposed roadways, and away from the proposed units.
“The Flood Risk Assessment submitted in support of this application includes a drainage strategy for the site in order to reduce the risk of surface water flooding.”
A spokesman from The Harkalm Group said it would continue to work with relevant consultees to ensure the development was “acceptable” from a flooding and highways perspective.
But as well as flooding risks, some locals say it is not the right location in rural Norfolk/Suffolk, and could negatively affect local businesses, traffic and the environment - including a neighboring 'pocket park' and nature reserve.
Roger Greenacre, chairman of Stuston Parish Meeting, said: “In our discussions at Stuston we also expressed real concern that any fast-food facility development on the outskirts of Diss will inevitably impact on the hospitality businesses within Diss town centre.
“We should, as we move out of the pandemic, be doing everything possible to support our local businesses and not allowing activities which will adversely affect their trade.
“When the BP/McDonald’s development was proposed we objected to it on the grounds that the site to be developed is in a rural part of Suffolk and not located in an urban development.
“The level of light pollution arising from the BP site has already had a devastating effect on local wildlife and to claim that a precedent has been set by allowing the BP site which justifies the KFC/Starbucks application is a total disgrace.
“As you will have concluded we are totally opposed to the application but yet again we fear that the interests of the residents will be ignored.”
Leigh Trevail, a Scole parish councillor, said: "Traffic is also a major concern. We are worried about and the entrance to the site. It’s a very busy road.
"I can’t see how it can be approved. It totally defeats the object of having a floodplain and a bypass - to keep the traffic flowing. All this will do is stop the traffic."