Totton councillors vow to fight plans for Costa Coffee and KFC at Rushington
4:00am Thursday 14th February 2013
CIVIC leaders are fighting plans for a multi-million pound shopping complex – despite the promise of 70 jobs.
Totton councillors say the scheme, which includes KFC and Costa Coffee outlets, will result in litter, antisocial behaviour and an unacceptable increase in traffic.
The town council’s objection comes just months after it called for plans for a McDonald’s, creating 75 jobs, to be scrapped.
But the company behind the KFC and Costa plans claims the development would actually improve traffic flow in the area.
Gentian Development Group wants to transform the Ridgeway Used Car Centre site beside the Rushington roundabout.
As previously reported in the Daily Echo, the scheme includes the first Costa Coffee drive-thru in the south.
Gentian also wants to build a KFC restaurant and drive-thru, and two food/retail units next door to the fast food outlets.
The proposals were debated at a meeting of Totton and Eling Town Council’s planning committee.
Councillor George Dart said: “It’s a very busy junction and I can’t see any merit in allowing such an intensive redevelopment of the site. What this town needs is relief from traffic issues, not an escalation.”
Councillor Chris Lagdon said the roundabout was the right site for that type of development but criticised the size of the scheme.
The committee agreed to urge New Forest District Council to reject the planning application – due to be debated in March or April.
But Gentian’s associate director, George Mellery-Pratt, said: “A detailed transport assessment carried out in support of the proposals confirms that the local road network has the capacity to accommodate the expected vehicle movements associated with the scheme. In fact, the analysis concludes that the proposals would actually see an improvement in terms of traffic compared to existing uses at the site.”
The council is currently objecting to a scheme to transform the former Red Lion pub site in the town into a McDonald’s, saying it will cause “serious” traffic problems.