Drive-thru Burger King and coffee shop approved for Somerford Road in Christchurch
A DRIVE-THRU Burger King and coffee shop will open in Christchurch despite concerns over rubbish and traffic congestion.
The application by Hamdon Gate Ltd for the site off Someford Road, adjacent to Meteor Retail Park, also includes nine "flexible" employment units.
It was approved by BCP Council, with Burger King proposing opening hours of between 5am and midnight.
But there have been objections from residents, the town council and the Christchurch Chamber of Trade.
They warned of more litter and that traffic would exacerbate already lengthy queues in and out of the Meteor complex, and said more fast food outlets are not needed in this area of Christchurch.
"The existing fast food outlets in this vicinity – KFC and McDonalds – already cause dangerous road congestion and this proposal will only add to that situation," said one resident.
"Access to and from the adjacent shopping complex is already problematic and parked vehicles along the lower end of Wilverley Road cause congestion, added to by the overspilling of parked vehicles further along."
The Chamber of Trade warned: "Wilverley Road is already well-used as it services the industrial estate, retail outlets and the civic amenity site.
"Adding two drive-thru outlets would create traffic chaos – McDonalds in Somerford Road is a prime example of this."
However, BCP Council's highways team said a new access point off Wilverley Road and the site's overprovision of parking would be sufficient to mitigate this.
Opponents have demanded parking restrictions along Wilverley Road to ease congestion, and called for traffic-calming measures at its junction with Somerford Road.
The chamber of trade requested either the road be widened or a three-lane junction be installed, similar to Airfield Way.
The area is designated as employment land in BCP Council's Local Plan, and officers said that in terms of "design and physical impact", the development would not be out of character.
"Given the separation distance of about 50 metres, it is considered the proposal is sufficiently distanced from nearby residential properties to mitigate any material harm to those properties," officers stated.
"The applicant has submitted details of a lighting scheme and odour abatement which have been assessed by the Environmental Health department and found acceptable and appropriate for the site.
"With regards to noise and hours of operation of the restaurant/takeaway units, the team has recommended a condition to request noise impact assessment prior to commencement of development in addition to a condition restricting the operation hours for the takeaway units."