KFC drive-thru restaurant with 100 new jobs gets the green light

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A KFC drive-thru will be built next to the McDonalds drive-thru near Gatwick Airport.

Crawley Borough Council’s Development Control Committee gave the green light to the fast-food restaurant off Ring Road North on Monday (April 13).

Councillors permitted KFC’s plan to build the drive-thru with car park with 58 spaces.

It was heard the KFC would employ 100 people.

Cllr Ian Irvine (Lab, Broadfield North) voted against the proposal after raising concerns over the loss of trees.

He read from a report by the council’s arboricultural officer objecting to the proposal.

It stated: “The proposed tree planting scheme is in my opinion short term and unimaginative.”

The application was permitted subject to the company planting trees in the South Terminal area.

The committee rejected a similar application with a larger car park over the loss of woodland and trees and related ecology in the area in 2014.

Cllr Peter Smith (Lab, Ifield) said: “I recognise the applicant has gone to some trouble to take our comments on board.”

The committee also permitted plans to widen the Ifield Road entrance to Asda to allow cars to exit left.

Asda proposed to use some of the pavement next to the access road from Ifield Road to create the left out turn.

Cllr Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green) said the exit would reduce congestion at the store’s main exit in Pegler Way.

He said the exit would reduce air pollution from cars waiting to exit as a result. He said: “It’s clearly sensible.

“The problem is you have two ways in and only one way out and once it becomes grid locked that’s pretty much it.”

Cllr Smith said the county council’s highways team had shown ‘scant regard’ for pedestrians in their report on the Asda application.

A borough council report stated the access road had been considered ‘acceptable in highway safety terms’.

Cllr Smith said: “There should be a right of way for pedestrians across the crossing.

“It’s very sad that West Sussex can’t raise these matters for themselves in the 21st century and I’m not happy with this recommendation at all.”

Cllr Bill Ward (Lab, West Green) raised concerns for pedestrians crossing the junction.

He said people had to wait for gaps in the traffic going into the car park.

A number of residents who attended the meeting opposed the application.

Dennis Williams, chairman of the West Green Community Forum, said the exit would make congestion worse in Ifield Road.

He said the Horsham Road level crossing created tailbacks that went past both the proposed and main exit.

Judith Edwards, committee member of the Spencers Road Residents Association, said the pedestrian crossing between the store’s main exit and Ifield Road roundabout needed to be moved towards the High Street to ease congestion for cars exiting the store.

The committee also approved architectural designs for 92 homes in the Fairfield House site, West Green.