A branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Leamington Shopping Park, Tachbrook Park Drive is set to be demolished to make way for a bulky goods retail unit after Warwick District Council’s planning committee approved the plans.
The unit is set to look similar to the rest of the shops in the retail park, and will ‘create a strong and purposeful design’ according to a report submitted to the committee.
The report also states the KFC ‘looks out of place’ when compared to the rest of the retail park.
Speaking against the plans, Ashley Collins of LaSalle Investment Management, who own Royal Priors, said: “Leamington is vulnerable to out-of-town retail space, and needs protection from out-of-town expansion.
“The development will draw retailers away from Leamington, and would set a precedent for further expansion.”
Peter Waldren, speaking on behalf of applicant Ignis UK Property Fund, said: “The proposal will not take expenditure away from the town centre. There is a clear and strong recommendation to approve planning permission.”
Cllr Alan Boad (Lib Dem, Crown) said: “It’s always a balance between shops the town centre and out of town shops, but bulky goods don’t feature much in the town centre’s offering. The retail park seems like the obvious place to do it.”
Cllr Jane Knight (Lab, Clarendon), voiced her concerns about businesses from the town centre moving into the premises in the retail park, but her fears were dismissed by officers, who explained that being worried about businesses moving from one building to another as a reason to reject the application “has too many assumptions”.
‘Bulky goods’ refer to large items like electrical appliances or furniture that require large areas for storage or display.