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KFC Swinton: Back to drawing board on new £2m, 50-job branch

Fast food chain KFC has submitted another set of plans to Salford council for a proposed new drive-thru restaurant in Swinton.

The restaurant giant first put forward the idea in November 2015 for a £2 million outlet at the junction of Swinton Hall Road and Station Road.

It would bring 18 full-time and 32 part-time jobs to the local area, KFC say.

But councillors found multiple issues with the plan, including traffic and access problems, and concerns over the design of the building.

KFC site

This vacant spot of land used to be an Employment Exchange – the forerunner of JobCentres – but has been demolished for some years.

It’s currently surrounded by trees and is a useful car parking spot, if not particularly pleasing to the eye.

KFC site current2

KFC went to a lot of trouble to try and convince the local community that this was good news for the area, setting up a pre-application advice line, and canvassing the local area.

Swinton Shopping Centre supported the plan, and councillors agreed that it could “add to the draw of the centre, thereby benefiting the centre in terms of its vitality and viability.”

Swinton Square Centre Manager Dave Simister told SalfordOnline.com at the time the plans were turned down it would have been very positive for driving footfall and he “could not understand” the council’s reasoning.

“The traders have been telling me that they want KFC to come to Swinton since hearing about the plans.

“It’s refreshing to hear that they welcome competition and see KFC as a draw, meaning more shoppers spending more money in the Centre,” he said.

The fact that the building would be windowless, and 14 metres in front of the established line of buildings on Station Road would hem pedestrians in to a narrow pavement, the council said.

And even though access from Station Road (packed with buses coming from Bolton way) was moved to Chadwick Street rather than the busier Station Road, and the 26-space car park was rejigged, the council’s planning panel found “substantial harm would arise to the quality and character of the centre.”

Swinton Hall Road KFC

So it was a no from Salford City Council.

But KFC have come back with another proposal.

Working with Urban Vision and noting all the problems with the last application, they’ve reduced the size of the restaurant building, widened the public footpath and pushed it back further on Station Road so it doesn’t quite impose itself so much on the street.

The 2015 layout, now changed to push building back

The 2015 layout, now changed to push building back

Commenting on the proposals, Stephen McDonald, Senior Acquisitions Manager at KFC UK & Ireland, said: “The response we have had to our consultation shows that a new drive-thru restaurant and the KFC brand is wanted in Salford.

“We have worked hard to come up with a new scheme that is right for the local community.

“We hope councillors approach the application with an open mind, especially considering the changes we have made to the scheme and significant support the plans enjoy.

“During the consultation process, KFC received feedback from both the local community and Salford City Council and the alterations we have made to the plans mirror the comments we have had.”

Even the idea to cut down certain trees was a problem. But KFC say they’ve changed all that now.

Salford City Council is expected to decide on the plans later this year.

KFC drive thru

KFC already operates drive-thru restaurants at The Ellesmere Centre in Walkden, at Salford Shopping City in Pendleton, Stretford Shopping Centre and on Bury New Road in Prestwich.

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.