Drive-through gets green light
The decision to allow a KFC to be built in a residential area has led to immediate calls to boycott the business from the day it opens for business.
East Belfast politicians from all parties have unanimously condemned the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) for overturning the DoE Planning Service’s decision to refuse the application for a KFC restaurant to be built on the Upper Newtownards Road, at its junction with Knockhill Park.
UUP councillor Jim Rodgers told the Community Telegraph: “I’m not surprised by the PAC’s decision — if you look at the records, 93 per cent of the applications that go before them get approval. There were hundreds of objections to this applications.
“As a former chairman of Belfast Education Library Board, I pride myself in encouraging young people to eat food that is good for their health.
“I have tried many times to meet with the applicants to discuss residents’ fears, but they have ignored every request.
“We can’t do anything other than discourage people using it. I would urge people to boycott this business after the way they have treated local representatives. Stay away from it and eventually they will be forced to close.”
Charlie Carson, local resident and member of Knockhill Park Residents’ Association said: “I’m quite stunned that they were able to do it given all the opposition to this application.
“I would question the Planning Services for letting something like that go. Where do we go from here?”
East Belfast MP Naomi Long said: “There is united and widespread opposition to the opening of a drive-through restaurant on this site. Such development may be appropriate in a retail park or a motorway services, but it is not appropriate at the corner of a residential street, immediately beside a school.”
Chris Lyttle MLA said: “People are rightly concerned that this development has the potential to lead to an increase in noise, litter, disturbance, and a loss of residential amenity, not least given the drive-through element of the proposal. We are also concerned that the entrance and exit which open right at the traffic lights which serve the neighbouring school will compromise safety.”
UUP councillor Michael Copeland said: “Everyone knows it will create noise, smells and increase traffic and litter in the area, yet because the applicant company has the money to employ a QC, two solicitors, a noise expert, a landscape expert and a smell expert, some of whom where allegedly brought from Cambridge University, shows they can make an application of law where justice flies out the window.”
The applicant, Herbel Restaurants Ltd is the firm operating Europe's largest chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets — with more than 70 outlets in the British Isles and Isle of Man.
Herbel Restaurants Ltd declined to comment.