New A14 petrol station with M&S Simply Food to open
PUBLISHED: 15:07 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:07 26 November 2019
A new BP petrol station along with a Marks and Spencer Simply Food is to open close the A14 near Bury St Edmunds - after previously rejected plans were approved on appeal.
The new filling station was planned at the entrance to Suffolk Business Park, adjacent to junction 45 of the A14 at Bury St Edmunds, to help serve workers and be within easy reach for commuters.
The 57-acre office and industrial park includes the UK headquarters for Festool and the proposed new headquarters for Hopkins Homes.
However West Suffolk Council (then St Edmundsbury Council) originally refused the petrol station scheme in May 2018 saying it was detrimental to the open countryside in the area.
Since the original application was made, back in 2017, plans for Suffolk Business Park with consent for 2m sq ft of commercial and employment space and also 500 new homes in the area have been approved and development is now well under way.
The new Eastern Relief Road opens up the area and links both Moreton Hall and the Suffolk Business Park to the A14 Rookery Cross Roads.
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BP Oil and Churchmanor Estates appealed against the original decision, and had been supported by Rougham Parish Council and Highways England which were keen on additional motorist facilities on the A14 in Bury St Edmunds.
Their appeal has now been approved by planning inspector Graham Wyatt.
He disagreed with West Suffolk Council that the development would result in significant harm to the character and appearance of the area, particularly as it would be seen in the context of the adjacent business park and A14.
He also agreed that petrol station would be a beneficial facility for both motorists on the A14 and for the occupiers of the business park and Rougham Industrial Estate.
Stephen Clark, chief executive of Churchmanor Estates, said: "The inspector's decision allows this important investment to go ahead at the entrance to Suffolk Business Park and will be an important facility for our business park occupiers.
"We have been trying for many years to obtain planning permission for a petrol filling station here, and we are delighted for BP and M&S that this permission has finally been obtained."
Construction work could get under way on site during 2020.