New McDonald’s, Marks and Spencer and BP petrol station to be built on A140

Land near the Scole roundabout.Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Land near the Scole roundabout.Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A new McDonald's and Marks and Spencer are to be built alongside a BP petrol station and cafe close to a small village – despite objections from nearby residents.

The proposal to build the petrol station alongside a drive-through restaurant and associated sales buildings on land next to the A140/A143 roundabout at Scole, near Diss, was submitted to Mid-Suffolk District Council in June last year.

The application was granted permission on June 8 upon the recommendation that the development include increased cycle parking, charging points for electric cars as well as pedestrian and cycle access.

But when the proposal for the 1.45 hectare site which is currently an empty field was submitted, it got a mixed reception from the community, with the McDonalds's proving to be particularly divisive.

Michael Rogers, from Palgrave, said: 'I think this will be an excellent location, perfect for families in the area that are sick of having to drive to Thetford, Bury or Norwich to give their kids a treat.

'This will, as others have noted, alleviate a lot of the traffic that goes into Diss just to fuel up and with the M&S, it will make the bread and milk runs quicker and easier.'

However Samantha Laurie, from Scole, said: 'I feel this development will have a detrimental impact on the survival of local businesses competing with prices set by this multi-national corporation.

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'The financial beneficiary will not be the local economy of Diss, Scole and surrounding areas. There are already many eateries and fuel stations within the local area, many run by small, independent providers trying to stay financially afloat.'

Others against the application included Scole Parish Council which raised concerns over the location of development, its size and road safety.

The Diss and District Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group raised similar objections, as well as concerns over the 'likely impacts of the development on the very sensitive river valley, water meadow and its rare species.'

The new development will be accessed from a new slip road off the north-bound A140, with customers exiting onto the west-bound stretch of the A143.

Following its approval, developers will have three years to commence work on the site.

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