The proposed expansion of the Gillingham roundabout services has taken a big step closer after the application was validated by South Norfolk Council.

The Hearts Services at the junction of the A146 and A143 near Beccles currently has a McDonald's, a BP Petrol Station, a KFC and a Starbucks.

But the proposal that has been validated could see the site grow, with a relocated farm shop, a BP pulse-operated electric vehicle charging hub and a M&S food store.

There will also be a drive-thru Greggs, and six small trade counter units.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The Norwich Road Services on the roundabout at GillinghamThe Norwich Road Services on the roundabout at Gillingham (Image: Submitted)

The validation means a decision could be made within the coming months.

A spokesperson for the project team said: “Our proposals will deliver a host of significant benefits for the local area with more services and shops.

“The creation of around 100 permanent jobs will also be a major boost for the local economy, along with the significant investment we will be providing." 

The scheme includes solar panels, cycle parking and landscaping improvements.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The Hearts Services in Gillingham, Norfolk, during redevelopment last yearThe Hearts Services in Gillingham, Norfolk, during redevelopment last year (Image: Mike Page)

The spokesperson said: “At the outset, we have ensured that our landscaping strategy is at the heart of our proposals.

"With significant tree planting proposed to enhance the site, our proposals will also provide a considerable biodiversity net gain.”

Greggs already has more than 20 stores in Norfolk and over 1,800 across the UK.

The closest is 1.3 miles away in Beccles. 

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The farm shop is expected to be run by Bungay business, the Fen Farm Dairy. 

Based at Gillingham, the services are where the A146 Norwich Road meets the A143 connection to Great Yarmouth

The Hearts services have already recently been expanded, with two drive-throughs added last year.

The farm shop and EV charging hub are planned for the western side of the site, while the drive-thru will go to the east.

More details about the expansion project can be found at