New A140 services open but missing McDonald’s
- Credit: Simon Parkin
A new service station on the A140 has opened to motorists for the first time but with no sign of the planned drive-through McDonald's.
The new BP filling station, including an M&S Simply Food outlet, at the roundabout junction of the A140 and A143 at Scole, near Diss, had been under construction since November.
The first customers began to fill up their vehicles when the service station, which has created 20 new jobs, opened for business on May 22.
However work is yet to start on the proposed drive-through McDonald's with that part of the site still lying empty and no start date for construction.
A spokesman for the company said they remained committed to building the new restaurant, which will have parking for 50 cars and 100 covers across internal and external seating areas.
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They hope to begin work on the development, which is believed to have been held up by negotiations with franchisees, as soon as possible.
The joint BP and Marks & Spencer development, which includes an entrance off the A140 and exit on to the A143, includes M&S food alongside BP's Wild Bean Café, a toilet accessible to disabled people and a baby changing-room.
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Andy Kenney, BP district manager said: "The new store and introduction of the M&S Simply Food range means we have been able to create 20 new jobs for people in the local area. It'll be open 24/7 providing customers with a selected range of Marks & Spencer's high quality fresh, innovative food alongside the best of BP fuels and our very own Wild Bean Café."
The filling station has a four-island fuelling forecourt and a two-lane HGV fuelling island as well as charging points for electric vehicles, which were a condition of the planning permission granted by Mid Suffolk District Council in June 2018.
The 1.45 hectare site, on Old Bury Road, close to the edge of Diss Golf Club and a golf driving range, was previously an empty field.
When the proposals were initially submitted it got a mixed reception from residents in the nearby villages of Scole and Stuston, with the McDonald's proving to be particularly divisive.
Scole Parish Council had raised concerns over the location of development, its size and road safety. A new footpath and pedestrian and cycling crossing has been built as part of the scheme.