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Plans unveiled to convert former NatWest bank in New Milton to a KFC

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A FORMER New Milton bank could reopen as a KFC restaurant and takeaway under plans being considered by New Forest District Council.

The fast-food restaurant at the old NatWest at 59 Station Road would boost the town’s night time economy and create 20 new jobs, according to applicant Caskade Caterers.

The planning application, which revealed seating for 48 diners, also seeks permission for a plant and extraction system and a bin store.

The old NatWest building in Station Road could soon be home to a KFC
The old NatWest building in Station Road could soon be home to a KFC

The submission said: “The proposal would restore active use to these premises which have been vacant for 42 months, thereby positively contributing to the vitality and viability of the town centre, and additionally the proposal would also bring significant economic benefits associated with the creation of 20 new jobs.”

It is anticipated the restaurant and takeaway would operate from 10am to midnight seven days a week.

However, concerned about litter and road safety, local resident Heidi Down has spoken out against the application and launched an online petition 'Stop KFC Coming to New Milton' which by Tuesday had gathered 23 signatures.

She wrote: “There is already huge amounts of litter dropped around the skate park, children’s play area and the surrounding areas which comes from the local shops and subway. Imagine adding KFC wrappers, cups, boxes and bags to that.

“Do these proposals promote healthy lifestyle and eating habits? Is this the future community vision you had for your town?”

But the application argued: “The proposal would not result in an over concentration of late-night uses, with the nearest hot food takeaway being the Papa John’s premises at 102 Station Road, and indeed there are very few mixed restaurant and hot food takeaway uses within New Milton town centre.

“The proposed use would therefore also contribute positively to ensuring an evening economy within the town centre given that many premises close after 5pm or 6pm.”

NFDC is set to make a decision on the plans after the deadline for public comments on 20th August.

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