Fried chicken chain KFC has confirmed it is behind the controversial plans to open a drive-thru in Asda’s Longwell Green car park.
We have previously reported on plans for a restaurant and hot food takeaway, including a dedicated ‘drive-thru’ facility, in the eastern corner of the car park of Asda at Craven Way. However, the proposed chain was not revealed in the planning application that was lodged with South Gloucestershire Council by Euro Garages Ltd, part of the EG Group which owns Asda.
But confirmation has now come in a statement posted on the council’s planning portal, highlighting the economic benefits that a KFC branch would bring to the area.
KFC says that once operational, the new restaurant will create around 30 new jobs (full and part-time) and that new employees will be supported by ongoing training. The statement says: “These opportunities provide valuable, new opportunities for unemployed and young people living in the local area.”
In addition, it says the KFC model is to generate additional employment through maintenance contracts typically involving local tradespeople; for each KFC restaurant, on average the construction will provide around 140 direct construction jobs that comprise of 90 on-site roles and 50 off-site positions. The statement also highlights further wider impacts in the construction supply chain as the construction of each restaurant will support indirect employment opportunities throughout the supply chain.
The governing body at Barrs Court Primary School has already slammed the plans to open a drive-thru restaurant in the car park, which is just opposite the school, and there have been lots of objections from local residents. There is also a nursery very close by.
The council has yet to make a decision on the application but officers have said there are no highway or transportation reasons to object to the application.
Two years ago the council’s Conservative administration agreed “sensible and straightforward” plans to press ahead with a fast food exclusion zone policy within at least 400 metres of any school in South Gloucestershire, helping to deter children from the temptation of junk food. That policy is going through the council’s Local Plan process so has not yet been adopted.
This week Cllr Toby Savage, who represents the Longwell Green ward and is the leader of the council said: “The plans for a new drive-thru fast food establishment so close to one of our local schools has greatly concerned the community.
“Having discussed the matter with the headteacher recently, I am awaiting the planning report that will assess the issues.
“I am keen that the council continues to push for meaningful change in tackling childhood obesity as part of our new Local Plan and take a holistic approach towards putting public health and the next generation first.
“If any local people share my concerns, I would encourage them to have their say through the council’s planning process to make sure their voices are heard.”