40 jobs on the menu? Kentucky Fried Chicken plan for Sunderland Dewhirst site

Former Dewhirst site at Pennywell Industrial Estate, Sunderland.
Former Dewhirst site at Pennywell Industrial Estate, Sunderland.
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FORTY new jobs will be dished up if a drive-thru restaurant is given the go-ahead.

Fast food giants KFC is hoping to open up on Pennywell Industrial Estate, on the site of the former Dewhirst factory.

Two buildings used by the clothing firm will be knocked down and land already cleared will be developed, with 44 car parking spaces to be set up alongside the restaurant’s seating, kitchen and storage areas.

The firm has said access from the A19, roads to and from the city centre and on-foot routes to the site work in its favour, as well as its location on the edge of the industrial estate and near to homes.

The main way into the restaurant by car will be off the new road laid down off Hylton Road, which will then lead customers around a drive-thru lane to service hatches, with vehicles to then exit at the back of the site.

The company has said the demolition of the empty buildings, which have become a target for arsonists and vandals, would have a positive impact on the area, which is characterised by empty brownfield land and dated or vacant buildings.

The application says it is intended the improvements will help further development on the industrial estate.

Designers have put together plans which put the building as close as possible to the A183 Chester Road so that it is visible to passers-by.

A decision by Sunderland City Council on the proposals is still to be taken.

A spokesman for KFC said: “We can confirm that we have submitted a planning application for a new drive-thru restaurant in Sunderland to satisfy demand from our fans in the community.

“It’s still early days but a new store would create around 40 career opportunities in the area, so we hope to have some good news soon.”

The company has said the central location would complement its existing business elsewhere in Sunderland and Washington.