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CAMPAIGNERS are “gobsmacked” after controversial plans for a drive-through fast food restaurant emerged yet again.

Residents and councillors fighting against proposals for a KFC in High Road, Laindon, thought their two-year battle was finally over after a planning inspector deemed the scheme unsuitable.

Laindon Holdings first submitted plans for a 24-hour takeaway on the former Laindon Hotel site at the beginning of 2012, but they were turned down by Basildon Council after a string of objections.

Proposals with revised opening times resurfaced months later, but were also thrown out over concerns about traffic, noise and litter.

The developers lodged an appeal last year, which was considered at a planning inquiry in May.

Planning inspector Isobel McCretton upheld the council’s decision on the grounds the design and appearance of the restaurant was not suitable for the residential area.

Now Laindon Holdings is back with a new application.

The revised proposals have seen the height of the singlestorey building increased, the introduction of a pitched slate roof and the use of brick.

Mother-of-two Samantha Marsh, 42, of Little Oxcroft, led the original campaign against the development and has vowed to fight again.

She said: “I am gobsmacked. I really thought it was over.

“All our concerns still stand. We weren’t particularly concerned about the appearance of the building, but more the opening hours, noise and all the extra traffic.

“Laindon Holdings seem to be very persistent. The site is very valuable and it’s a good location for custom from passing traffic.

“We are going to fight it. It would be right outside the back of my house and decrease the value of our properties.

“This is really starting to wear the community down.”

John Dornan, Tory councillor for Laindon Park, has pleaded with Laindon Holdings to consider putting a KFC in the troubled Laindon Centre instead.

He said: “The concern is if the new design meets with planning framework regulations, it might just get passed.

“I’m not against new businesses, but that development is detrimental to that part of Laindon.

“It’s a fresh application but it’s got the same old issues. The fight goes on.”