Neighbours have raised concerns over traffic, noise and proximity to schools of a new fast food restaurant and drive-through in Aldershot
Neighbours have reacted with alarm after receiving plans for a new drive-through fast food restaurant metres from their front doors.
Letters outlining proposals for a KFC in North Close, a small industrial estate in North Town, have been delivered to residents.
Although the news came as a pleasant surprise for some, others have voiced concerns over noise and increased traffic in the area.
The Northgate Van Hire site, one of the businesses currently occupying North Close, would be demolished to allow for the 334.8 square metre KFC to be built. The plans propose an additional new access road from the eastbound Ash Road.
Northgate Van Hire remains operational, and is planning to relocate to Camberley in the spring.
KFC already has a presence in Aldershot, with a outlet in Union Street, and a spokesman for the company stressed the future of this restaurant would not be affected by the plans.
Before a planning application is submitted, KFC plans to consult with the council, residents and businesses. An exhibition of the plans is planned for Wednesday at the Salvation Army Hall inn North Lane between 4pm and 8pm.
The KFC spokesman said: “We can confirm we’re looking to open a new drive-through restaurant in Aldershot to complement our Union Street store which recently celebrated its 42nd year.
“A new restaurant would create 45 to 50 additional career opportunities in the area, and, although it’s early days at the moment, residents, businesses and councillors are welcome to come and have their say and hear details of the proposal at the open evening.”
The company is likely to face some opposition from neighbours. Julie George, who lives in Lower Newport Road opposite North Close, said she was unhappy that it would be so close to a residential area and within walking distance of Newport Junior School.
“I would rather it wasn’t there,” she said. “We’ve already got a kebab place around the corner and a fish and chip shop.
“I don’t eat that sort of stuff that often so it doesn’t affect me in that way, but it might be quite bright over there. I know it will create jobs but it could be noisy and create rubbish.”
Wendy Watmore, of Lower Newport Road, said: “We don’t hear much noise from the estate now so I hope it is not like Farnborough Gate where the boy racers meet up at night. We’ve got plenty of fast food here.”
Borough and county councillor Frank Rust has campaigned for greater measures to control the provision of unhealthy food in Rushmoor and voted against last year’s McDonald’s application for the Tumbledown Dick site in Farnborough, arguing that councillors should make decisions that did not encourage obesity.
Cllr Rust said: “I stand by what I’ve said before. It’s something I passionately believe. I think we have enough junk food in Aldershot. I've never eaten at KFC or McDonalds and I don't intend to. We have a health and wellbeing agenda on the council and part of it is to combat obesity, but we don’t seem to do anything about it.”