AN unpermitted extension to a fast food restaurant will be allowed to stay in place – despite objections from furious residents.
Planning chiefs at South Ribble Council approved the enlargement of a KFC site in Preston New Road, Samlesbury, subject to conditions being put in place to improve highway safety.
The premises was originally granted planning permission in January last year for a single storey rear and side extension.
But to the anger of neighbours, the restaurant, which is being converted to a drive-thru, has actually undergone a much bigger expansion which was not covered by the planning permission.
Residents at a South Ribble Council planning meeting last night, which considered whether to grant retrospective permission, said the development did not fit in with the area and raised safety concerns on the busy Preston to Blackburn A677.
Maria Morton, who lives nearby, blasted the fact development had taken place without permission.
She said the building would “not look out of place in Preston city centre, Manchester city centre or perhaps on Blackpool Prom.”
She referred to a highway assessment of Preston New Road, prepared for British Aerospace.
“They found the A677 carried more traffic than the A59 and there are more accidents on this road,” she added.
Her husband Andrew Morton added that the building now looks like an “industrial unit more suited to a commercial business park.” But a spokeswoman for the applicant said they “can’t understand the level of objection to the site.” She added the site was a long standing KFC restaurant and the second in the UK to open.
She added the refurbishment was only supposed to take 10-11 weeks but concerns from a structural engineer about the building meant it took longer.
The restaurant has been losing thousands of pounds while closed and the decision was taken therefore to continue development, she said. She added that the restaurant would help contribute to the area’s economy.
Committee member Coun Barrie Yates branded the new building a “blot on the landscape” and “inappropriate development in the greenbelt” and called for it to be rejected.
But Coun Cameron Crook said even if it was rejected, the building would not return to its former appearance. He proposed approval with conditions.
That was passed 10 votes to four.