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Plans submitted for ‘drive-thru’ Greggs and Starbucks to join Aldi, KFC and Wickes on ex-Dewhirst site at Sunderland's Pennywell Industrial Estate

Greggs and Starbucks ‘drive-thru’ branches could soon open on the old Dewhirst Factory site in Pennywell, under new proposals.

By Chris Binding
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 11:44 am

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Plans to build a bakery and coffee shop at the Pennywell Industrial Estate, off Chester Road, have been submitted to Sunderland City Council’s planning department.

In recent years, the site has seen big changes, with a KFC drive-thru restaurant, Aldi foodstore and Wickes setting up shop.

Proposals for a Marston’s puband restaurant were previously approved by the council, although the development was never brought forward.

The former Dewhirst site, in Pennywell.

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In June 2020, an application for a Greggs bakery and drive-thru coffee shop on the parcel of land was submitted by North East Property Partnership Ltd (NEPP) – however this was withdrawn just a few months later.

But now the scheme looks set to be revived as two drive-thru units, with big brands tipped to take over.

A planning statement for the new application states Greggs and Starbucks have been “secured” to occupy the proposed units on the site.

It adds: “Both operators have a requirement for new facilities in close proximity to the A19 corridor and on a key arterial route into Sunderland.

“Such facilities would complement existing provision in the Sunderland area, both within and outside of existing centres, catering for employees working at (or visiting) Pennywell Estate, as well as catering for passing trade, from those travelling along the A183, to and from Sunderland city centre, as well as other destinations.”

The proposed buildings on site would be set within a landscaped area with seating, new pedestrian routes, car parking, cycle stands and servicing areas.

A total of 40 car parking spaces are proposed to be provided as part of the development, with four being accessible and two containing charging stands for electric vehicles.

The planning statement goes on to say: “The scheme would enhance the range of food and drink facilities for those working on Pennywell Estate, as well as those passing by along the A183 Chester Road, as well as local residents.

“The proposal will also bring back into use previously developed land and support around 20 full-time jobs.”

A decision on the planning application is expected to be made by May.

For more information on the scheme, visit Sunderland City Council’s online planning portal and search reference: 22/00531/FUL

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