Work starts at site of controversial McDonald’s and BP petrol station on A140
- Credit: Simon Parkin
Work has begun on a controversial new service area on the A140 that was given the go-ahead despite objections from nearby residents.
The proposal to build a BP petrol station alongside a drive-through McDonald's and Marks and Spencer on land next to the roundabout junction of the A140 and A143 at Scole, near Diss, was approved by Mid-Suffolk District Council in June.
The first signs of construction work began this week with heavy machinery beginning to clear the land and trucks taking away spoil from the site.
The 1.45 hectare site, which is 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.
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In an objection 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.
'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.'
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However Michael Rogers, from Palgrave, said: '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.'
Another local householder, who preferred not to be named, said the decision to grant the scheme the go-ahead had resulted in a significant drop in the value of their property.
Others against the application included Scole Parish Council which raised concerns over the location of development, its size and road safety.
Permission was granted for the scheme upon the recommendation that the development include increased cycle parking, charging points for electric cars as well as pedestrian and cycle access.
When completed vehicle access will be from a new slip road off the north-bound A140, with customers exiting onto the west-bound stretch of the A143.