Verdict for KFC and Costa Coffee plans in Hemsworth expected this week, but local opinion is divided

Plans to build a drive-through KFC and Costa Coffee in Hemsworth are set to be decided this week.

Monday, 4th November 2019, 12:53 pm
Updated Monday, 4th November 2019, 12:54 pm
The two businesses would run a drive-through at the site. Pictures courtesy of Getty Images.

Wakefield Council officers have recommended the proposals be granted planning permission by councillors, which could create a total of 60 full and part-time jobs, according to the businesses involved.

The matter is likely to be resolved at a meeting on Thursday.

Traders ceased using Hemsworth's outdoor marketplace last year.

But despite 81 letters of support for the scheme, Hemsworth Town Council are among 24 objectors.

The town council's chairman, Jim Kenyon, said he was in favour of the vacant land being redeveloped, but that these proposals would draw increased traffic congestion and attract anti-social behaviour to the area.

Coun Kenyon said: "I understand why people would love this to happen, but it's going to be a blight on the lives of most of the people who live round there.

"It will be great for people in Wakefield, Upton and Ackworth, but not for us.

Hemsworth Town councillor Jim Kenyon said the proposals would be "a blight" on the lives of people living nearby.

"Wakefield Council's going to take a couple of hundred thousand pounds from the sale of the land, and then they'll get around £15,000 in rates from KFC and Costa, and we'll be left with the anti-social behaviour."

Others however have welcomed the scheme, with several people saying the development will be good for the local economy.

Commenting on Wakefield Council's planning portal, one local business owner and residents said: "The pros far outweigh the cons. Regeneration is exactly what's needed and especially from big names such as KFC and Costa. I for one will be a regular at Costa.

Another said: "It's time commercial development was (given the) green light in this area.

"We are in desperate need of a movement towards the 21st century.

"The lack of infrastructure and investment by big business has already killed the small town and its market. It's long overdue and the jobs created would be welcomed by all."

Local Democracy Reporting Service