Drive-through plans tipped to go ahead

PLANS for a second drive-through restaurant at an Essex out-of-town shopping centre look set to be given the go-ahead despite objections from a parish council.

By Roddy Ashworth

PLANS for a second drive-through restaurant at an Essex out-of-town shopping centre look set to be given the go-ahead despite objections from a parish council.

The new building would be constructed in a car park at the Tollgate Centre in Stanway, where there are a number of large retail outlets and a Sainsbury superstore. The applicant, BLCT Ltd, owns the shopping centre complex.

It would be built alongside an existing McDonalds drive-through and restaurant with road access to Tollgate West.

But Stanway Parish Council wrote expressing concern the new facility could lead to traffic problems in the area and have formally objected to the scheme.

Members also said they would prefer a seated restaurant to lessen the amount of litter which they said “already affects much of the village.”

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And they added they did not feel there were enough loading and unloading facilities in the area, saying that lorries already parked in a nearby bus stop to make deliveries and collections.

Colchester Cycling Campaign also objected to the proposal on the grounds of the drive-through increasing the amount of traffic on the town's roads.

It said that if permission was granted the applicant should make a contribution towards road safety improvements in the area.

In a report prepared for councillors to consider at a forthcoming meeting, planning officers wrote that although the new drive-through would lead to the removal of 44 parking spaces, as there were already 800 on the site and a further 750 at Sainsburys the loss would be acceptable.

They also pointed out that, subject to conditions, the Highways Agency had not warned of potential traffic problems and the matter of potential litter was not in itself enough of an objection to refuse permission.

The officers recommended that the councillors should approve plans for the new building provided that the applicant paid £25,000 towards improved pedestrian links.

Yesterday a spokesman for Blue Sky Planning Ltd, BLCT's agent, said that it was not yet decided which food outlet would occupy the drive-through.

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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