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Town could be in line for new KFC and Costa

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:31 17 September 2020

Forest Retail Park in Thetford could get a KFC and Costa drive-thru. Picture: Archant

Forest Retail Park in Thetford could get a KFC and Costa drive-thru. Picture: Archant

Archant

A proposal could see new KFC and Costa branches built on a town’s retail park.

Plans have been lodged with a view to introducing the fast food chain and coffee shop to Forest Retail Park, off London Road in Thetford.

If approved, the development would be created at the north east corner of the park, on 1.5 acres of vacant land adjacent to the B&Q and Curry’s PC World stores and their car parks.

In all, 61 new parking spaces would be provided, including two disabled spaces as close as possible to the entrance of each eatery.

Arriving vehicles would access the site via the main retail park and depart via an existing service road. Both the KFC and Costa would benefit from outdoor seating areas.

Forest Retail Park in Thetford could get a new KFC. Picture: PA ImagesForest Retail Park in Thetford could get a new KFC. Picture: PA Images

Forest Retail Park opened in the early 1990s as a purpose-built shopping destination on the outskirts of Thetford.

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Much of the park is occupied by a large Sainsbury’s supermarket, while the remainder features retailers including Sports Direct, Pets at Home and a McDonald’s which does not have drive-thru facilities.

Documents submitted to Breckland Council’s planning department say the relevant site has been chosen to ensure drive-thru access, but add that queueing “does not impact the free flow of parking and traffic movements within and to and from the main retail areas”.

They add that, “where possible”, existing trees to the north and west of the site will be retained as they “provide good screening” to the adjoining A11 corridor and “contribute to the character of the site”.

Thetford Town Council has, meanwhile, voiced its support for the application, but raised concerns over traffic management at the site and the potential nuisance of food odour

Mark Webster, countryside and planning officer at the town council, said there was already an issue with too many vehicles turning right into the retail park from London Road for the existing filter lane to cope.

He added: “We would also like to be sure that sufficient odour control is put in place to prevent there being a public nuisance from the new kitchens.”

Mr Webster did, however, highlight the limited encroachment on grassy heathland, thus “giving scope for the retention and management of the existing wildflower habitat for the long-term”.


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