Developers have urged Midlothian Council’s planning committee to grasp a “golden opportunity” to bring up to 55 new jobs to Dalkeith by approving plans to build a Starbucks and KFC.
Developers London & Scottish Investments have applied for planning permission for a £2m development featuring the two global brands, incorporating a drive-thru coffee shop and restaurant, on a 1.5-acre derelict site between the A7 and Tesco’s car park in Hardengreen.
The development could create around 55 jobs, depending on the hours of operation, with the firms joining McDonalds, which has already received permission for a restaurant in the adjacent Tesco car park.
The plans had been met with opposition from some groups including Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Community Council which raised questions regarding the potential loss of facilities in nearby town centres as a result of the development.
Meanwhile Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership (H&SCP) highlighted 1451 people in Midlothian were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in the past five years.
The council’s planning committee is expected to make a final decision on the development at its next meeting on November 20 with planning officials recommending approval. The matter was continued from the last planning committee meeting until the council’s food and drink consultation findings are delivered.
Ian Johnson, head of communities and economy, said: “The proposed development is situated within the built-up area of Dalkeith and Eskbank and will not detract materially from the existing character or amenity of the area. The proposal therefore complies with policies DEV2, TRAN2 and IMP2 of the Midlothian Local Development Plan. Any perceived issues associated with litter, antisocial behaviour and healthy eating are not significant enough material considerations to warrant refusal of the application.”
The recommended approval is also subject to a legal agreement with 12 conditions attached. But Bryan Wilson, development director with London and Scottish Investments said he was confident that the development will comply with the new guidance.
He added: “All in all it is a delicious prospect, in a location that is absolutely ideal for both Starbucks and KFC, where they will undoubtedly enhance the fast food and coffee experience for the whole of the area, without impacting on any of the local town centres.
“There will be around 20 additional jobs in the construction period, and the site will have 44 new car parking spaces, without affecting existing car park provisions.”
If the development gets the go-ahead work is expected to start in the spring, with both outlets open for business late spring 2019.