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Joy as KFC's restaurant plan for Laindon turned down
12:00pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
DEVELOPERS who hoped to bring fast-food chain KFC to Laindon have lost an appeal to open a drive-through and restaurant.
A decision was published by the planning inspectorate last week following a public inquiry into the controversial proposals.
Laindon Holdings submitted plans for a 24-hour service on the former Laindon Hotel site, in High Road, at the beginning of last year.
But they were refused after a string of objections from residents.
Proposals resurfaced with restricted opening times.
But they were also turned down by Basildon Council amid concerns about traffic, noise and litter.
The developers then lodged an appeal, which was considered during a two-day planning inquiry in May. Now planning inspector Isobel McCretton has upheld the council’s decision.
Campaigners are not against redevelopment of the site, but say they want something more “suitable”.
Bob Taylor, 65, of Bedford Road, said: “This just shows if residents put their heads together, they can get stuff done.
“The scheme was not good for the area, so we’re pleased it’s been rejected.
“The result of this appeal is a victory for local residents. This has been going on for so long, I just hope this is the end now.”
Samantha Marsh, 41, of Little Oxcroft, said: “I hope this is the final application now.
“It’s taken from May 21 for a decision to be made, so it’s been pretty tense.
“I know something will end up on the site, but just not a fastfood restaurant and drivethrough.
It’s not right for the community.
“Hopefully, KFC might go in the Laindon Centre now, which is what we’ve been saying all along. I think a doctor’s surgery is a good idea for the High Road site, or even a proper sit-down restaurant, but not a 24-hour one.”
John Dornan, Tory councillor for Laindon Park, said: “Common sense has prevailed once again.
“It’s a great result. I think the site was inappropriate. It’s unsuitable for a drive-through in that location.
“I would welcome KFC and any such development as part of redevelopment of Laindon Shopping Centre. We said that at the inquiry and that’s what we stick to.”
If the proposals were approved, 40 part-time and 15 full-time jobs would have been created at a site empty for more than 20 years.
Inspector Isobel McCretton said the scheme would utilise an area of brownfield land, provide jobs and a restaurant/takeaway for which there was a need.
She said: “However, while the framework contains a presumption in favour of sustainable development and promotes economic growth, it sets out that sustainable development has three elements – social, economic and environmental. The framework states permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions.
“I consider this is the overriding factor and that the environmental aspect of sustainable development is significantly and demonstrably not met.”
No one at Laindon Holdings was available for comment.
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