A large, expanding service area at the northern end of the Beccles bypass which is seeing some recent interest from some big names.
Catering: KFC Drive Thru, McDonald's Drive Thru, Starbucks Drive Thru Amenities: Children's Play Area Forecourt: BP, Londis, Costa Express, Dunkin' Donuts, f'real Milkshakes, Rollover, Skwishee BrainFreeze, Car Wash, Jet Wash
Short stay customer parking is available for cars at all facilities. No HGV parking is available.
Parking within the McDonald's car park is limited to 90 minutes maximum stay and is strictly enforced by MET Parking.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
Gillingham Service Station
🌍 Operators & Official Websites:
Trivia and History
Although the town of Beccles is in the county of Suffolk, the service area is placed at the top of the bypass and is in fact in Norfolk.
Plans for a service area here were developed by Mobil in the early 1990s. The site opened in 1996 as a Mobil filling station and a McDonald's Drive Thru restaurant. The forecourt was quickly rebranded to BP in 1997 following the merger of Mobil and BP. The site was originally known as Gillingham service station. Some documents also refer to the site as Hearts service station but it isn't clear where this comes from.
The forecourt was acquired by Malthurst in the 2000s and a Wild Bean Café was added. Malthurst later became MRH in the early 2010s who added their own-brand Hursts store to the site, retaining the Wild Bean Café. Following the merger of MRH with MFG in late 2018, the Wild Bean Café unit was eventually removed and replaced with Costa Express machines. MFG now refer to the site as Beccles service station.
The McDonald's has also seen several refurbishments over time including a new outdoor seating area and signage refurbishments in 2012 along with a drive-thru reconfiguration in 2013.
The forecourt received a major refurbishment from MFG in March 2021, gaining a new, larger Londis store in the process along with new canopy, pumps, signage and a new jet wash. The new Londis store opened with a launch day on 15 April 2021 and now offers a number of new grab and go options.
The petrol station is one of 87 petrol stations that MFG intends to sell in 2022 under a deal with the Competition and Markets Authority.
In March 2020, Frenbury Developments submitted a major planning application to South Norfolk Council which would see an additional 2 drive-thru units and a new shop all added to the south of the existing facilities at the back of the site. As part of these works, a new link road would be created situated between the existing forecourt and McDonald's Drive Thru restaurant leading to a new roundabout which the new facilities would feed off into their individual parking areas. The McDonald's drive thru lanes and existing car park would also be reconfigured and extended to the east of the restaurant, with a new children's play area also being added.
Permission was granted in September 2020 with EG Group announcing that they would be building the two drive-thru units as a Starbucks Drive Thru and KFC Drive Thru respectively. The fourth unit was later announced to be a farm shop.
Works commenced in late 2020 with the McDonald's reconfiguration being completed in Spring 2021. The Starbucks Drive Thru later opened on 25 March 2022 with the KFC Drive Thru following on 11 May 2022, both delayed due to issues caused by COVID-19.
In summer 2021, excitement and confusion was caused when American restaurant giant Wendy's placed stickers on the approach signage on both the A143 and A146 suggesting they are opening a restaurant here too. Whilst no official plans have been submitted by the company, Wendy's made a return to the UK in June 2021 and they do intend to expand across the UK.
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