Tim Hortons to open in former Frankie and Benny's after Canadian fast-food giant's first North East branch approved

Canadian fast-food giant Tim Hortons is set to land in Washington after plans for a new branch were approved by planning chiefs.

Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 11:32 am

The Toronto-based firm is famous for its range of elaborate doughnuts, pancakes and desserts, as well as sweet drinks, coffees, sandwiches and burgers.

Features include ‘picnic-style’ outdoor seating, accessible parking spots, advertising signs, new bicycle racks and pavement improvements.

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Canadian chain Tim Horton is planning to open its first North East branch in Washington

The plans would also see external changes to the building and landscaping to transform the site, alongside a new drive-thru lane for customers.

During consultation, three objections were lodged with Sunderland City Council’s planning department, with fears ranging from traffic disruption to increased litter in Washington.

One objector was concerned about “the increased local pollution levels from standstill motorised vehicles.”

While another said visitors to the Galleries often park in nearby streets when car parks are busy, blocking access to drives and garages.

One comment was also lodged in support stating Tim Hortons would be a “great addition” to the area.

He said: “It is a fantastic, affordable commuter store, loved it in Canada. Looking forward to having apple fritters in cycling distance.”

After considering the proposals and comments, council planners approved the change of use on Tuesday, November 3.

Agreed opening hours for the Tim Hortons drive-thru would be 7am-11pm, Monday to Sunday.

A statement from the council’s environmental health department adds: “Given the established previous use, the location of the site and the projected limited increase in new vehicle trips, there are no objections to the proposed development.”

Tim Hortons operates and franchises thousands of restaurants worldwide, including a number of branches across the UK.

According to the chain’s website, locations in England include Bury, Manchester, Warrington, Leicester and Birmingham – with a new site ‘coming soon’ in Milton Keynes.

When completed, the Washington site would be its first branch in the North East.

A transport statement submitted with the planning application goes on to say: “The site is located within Galleries Retail Park and is adjacent to the Galleries Shopping Centre which combined have more than 2,500 free customer spaces.

“Due to its location, the site is highly sustainable by public transport, with access to 13 bus services within 200m.”

Under planning conditions, work must be brought forward within the next three years.

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