KFC planning row brews as fried chicken chain applies today to turn village’s last remaining 19th century oast house into drive-thru restaurant
- New branch of chicken chain would need part of building to be knocked down
- Fast-food giant’s plan is opposed by a local historian and health campaigners
- But outlet in Snodland, Kent, is expected to get the green light from planners
KFC has embroiled itself in a planning row over its bid to turn a village’s last remaining 19th-century oast house into a drive-thru restaurant.
The fried chicken chain wants to incorporate traditional elements of the building in Snodland, Kent, which was traditionally used to dry hops.
However, the traditional two-storey structure, which sits on the grounds of 15th-century Ham Hill farm, will have to be partially demolished for the conversion.
The fried chicken chain wants to incorporate traditional elements of the building in Snodland, Kent, which was traditionally used to dry hops. Pictured is the plan of the site
However, the traditional two-storey structure, (middle) which sits on the grounds of 15th-century Ham Hill farm, will have to be partially demolished for the conversion
It forms an ‘important’ part of the town’s brewing industry, which peaked in the mid-19th century.
Local historian Dr Andrew Ashbee said: ‘The hop industry was, and still is, an important part of Kent’s history.
‘This oast house probably dates to the mid-19th century, the height of the town’s brewing industry.
‘It is the last remaining oast house in the town. I think that’s a strong argument to oppose the new KFC.
‘We already have plenty of fast food restaurants in the town. There’s only 14,000 residents living here.’
The outlet, located ten minutes’ walk from a school, is expected to get the green light despite opposition from hundreds of residents and a local MP.
It will comprise a drive-thru and 29 parking spaces, but is also expected to create 45 part and full time jobs.
Health-conscious campaigners are rallying against the proposed franchise because its chicken food is linked to deadly diseases.
The site will comprise a drive-thru and 29 parking spaces, but is also expected to create 45 part and full time jobs
Resident Annick West said: ‘In our letter we have expressed our main concern regarding public health.
‘It’s no secret to most people nowadays that the fast food industry could be labelled as a public enemy in terms of being a danger to public health.
‘The fried food offered in these restaurants contributes to a deadly amount of salt and saturated fats in our diet linked to obesity, diabetes and cancer.’
A local MP previously urged the plans to be thrown out because of a ‘significant’ number of food outlets already in the town.
Snodland currently has a fried chicken restaurant, a Domino’s pizza take away, a fish and chip shop, as well as several Indian and Chinese takeaways.
More than 300 locals have responded to KFC’s planning application, with little more than two dozen voicing their support. Pictured are aerial plans for the site
In a letter to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch said: ‘There’s already a significant number of hot and cold food outlets in Snodland.
‘I don’t see why this is one is needed, particularly when there’s the proposed development of McDonald’s and Costa Coffee in a more appropriate location on the other side of Snodland.’
More than 300 locals have responded to KFC’s planning application, with little more than two dozen voicing their support.
Councillors are likely to approve the project at a committee today (FRI) following recommendations from TMBC officers.
Campaigners are due to attend the planning committee in a final effort to prevent the restaurant being built.
The oast house has been earmarked for development has been empty since early 2018 when it was vacated by Britannia windows.
KFC has been contacted for comment.
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