Plans for a KFC drive thru restaurant near John Spence High School in North Shields are being met with strong opposition.
An application has been submitted by Erindale Ltd and Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc for a 75-cover restaurant in the car park of the Collingwood Centre, on Preston North Road.
However, a 112-signature petition from the residents of Heybrook Avenue calls on North Tyneside Council to reject the application.
They have a range of concerns, including public health issues, accident risks, cooking smells, litter, loss of visual amenity, vermin and security.
Wendy Burke, director of public health at North Tyneside Council, said: ‘The proposed premises are located within 400m of John Spence Community High School in Collingwood ward which has one of the highest rates of very overweight and obese Year 6 children in North Tyneside.
‘This proposal undermines work that is being done to promote healthy eating and lifestles among young people in North Tyneside.’
Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell has called for the application to go before the full planning committee in light of the public health issues raised.
The three Collingwoood ward councillors – Martin Rankin, Steve Cox and Debbie Cox – have also voiced their concerns.
In a joint letter of objection, they argue that the proposal is a mixed use A3/A5 application and not the Class A3 use as stated by the applicant.
‘The simple fact is that this A3/ A5 development is too close to a major North Tyneside High School,’ they say.
Several local residents have also registered objections on the council’s planning site.
One Heybrook Avenue resident states: ‘The proposed KFC fast food outlet will be visually unacceptable and also generate noise, late into the evening, seven days a week.
‘There are no credible reassurances or planning conditions that the council can offer to make the KFC plans acceptable. It is simply the wrong place for such a development.’
Another objector writes: ‘The local community, including pupils from the local school, need facilities that support healthy lifestyles. KFC contradicts NHS England Public Health strategies for obesity and North Tyneside Council should support this by rejecting the application.’
There is already a Morrisons supermarket and a number of other shops on the site.
In the planning documents, the applicants acknowledge the drive-thru would be a takeaway facility, but said the primary use would be a restaurant.
They also point out that children would not be able to use the drive-thru unless accompanied by an adult with a driving licence and a vehicle.
The application states the applicants would be willing to impose a policy where employees are not allowed to serve children wearing uniforms and would engage with the school to ensure this is implemented effectively.
In addition, regular litter patrols would be carried out by staff around the restaurant and surrounding area, and there would be several bins located around the store.