‘Call-in’ ruling means KFC drive-thru plans for Barnes service station will be decided on by Sunderland councillors

A decision on plans for a KFC drive-thru restaurant is set to be made at a public meeting following a ‘call-in’ request from a city councillor.
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Sunderland City Council’s planning department recently received plans for the Barnes Service Station, off Durham Road.

Under new plans from applicant Euro Garages Ltd, the site could be demolished and re-purposed as a drive-thru restaurant with a one-way traffic system and parking.

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According to proposals entitled ‘KFC building plan and elevation’, the development would offer drive-thru facilities and an indoor seating area for customers, as well as create a mixture of 50 new full-time and part-time jobs.

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The plans have sparked concerns from Antony Mullen, councillor for Barnes and leader of the city council’s Conservative opposition group, raising concerns about traffic and health impacts, given the site’s proximity to two primary schools.

Cllr Andrew Wood, a Liberal Democrat representatives for neighbouring Millfield, raised fears from residents about litter and “increased traffic in an already busy set of junctions”.

A decision on the scheme had been expected to be ‘delegated’ to planning officers, but Conservative councillor Michael Dixon, who representing the St Michael’s ward, requested the application to be ‘called-in’ to be ruled on by the council’s Planning and Highways Committee due to the “public interest” in the scheme.

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Sunderland City Council has confirmed request has been approved.

Cllr Dixon added: “This is a very significant application and, in my opinion, it was in the public interest that the procedure took place with more substantial discussion at a Planning and Highways Committee meeting and then decided by elected members.

“I am pleased with this response to my request as the now agreed procedure will give members of the public interested in this application the opportunity to either follow it more closely, or indeed, if they so choose, to actively participate in the meeting.

“This request is in no way attempting to influence any eventual recommendation to be made by the planning officer.

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“I just happen to believe strongly that this application, on this particular site, would benefit from being heard in a more public forum.”

The application will be heard at a future meeting of the council’s Planning and Highways (East) Committee, which are held in public.

For more on the planning application, visit Sunderland City Council’s online planning portal and search reference: 22/00399/FUL

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