KFC opening in Tettenhall 'would go down like lead balloon'

The arrival of a KFC in Tettenhall would go down "like a lead balloon," a councillor has said.

KFC opening in Tettenhall 'would go down like lead balloon'

Tettenhall, Bilston, Willenhall, Great Barr, West Bromwich and Sedgley have been identified as areas ripe for a drive-thru and the Mander Centre, Wolverhampton, is also set to get a new restaurant.

The West Midlands will see more than 30 new KFC branches opened as part of 500 new planned outlets across the country.

However, precise locations have not yet been identified and not everyone is licking their lips at the prospect of a new drive-thru on their doorstep.

Veteran Tettenhall Regis Councillor Jonathan Yardley, who has represented the area for 18 years, said: "A new KFC drive-thru will go down like a lead balloon in Tettenhall village.

"There is just nowhere something as big as a drive-thru could possibly be built around the village, which has small shops, none of which are vacant.

"And if they are looking at the derelict site on the junction of Tettenhall and Henwood Roads then that would be terrible for traffic.

"We are trying to get the council to improve the junction and stop Tettenhall Road becoming a pinch point, any type of drive-thru would cause even longer queues."

KFC in Penn reopened to much fanfare in November

Tettenhall Regis Councillor Sohail Khan added: "Normally I would welcome new businesses coming into the area but I just cannot see where a big drive-thru KFC could work in Tettenhall.

"There certainly is not enough room in the village for a big new outlet, and we have enough fast food outlets anyway.

"The biggest worry for me would be the traffic problems a drive-thru would cause, our roads are bad enough anyway, especially near the Rock, this would make problems ten times worse."

He added: "If KFC wanted to move into a retail park on the side of the ward or city then I would be happy but there just is not the room in Tettenhall.

"And that is before we even get into the arguments about obesity and fast food."

KFC has not released details of any possible sites in Tettenhall but some councillors think an old Esso petrol station would be available for redevelopment.

In November the KFC drive-thru in Penn was reopened after a massive refurbishment with Steve Bull and the Mayor of Wolverhampton attending the ceremony.

In Sandwell the fast food giant has earmarked West Bromwich and Great Barr for new drive-thru restaurants.

Friar Park Councillor and youth employment worker at Juniper Training Simon Hackett welcomes the investment and employment opportunities.

He said: "This is good news as long as they work with local communities on any proposals. I would want to see much needed jobs for our local community including apprenticeships to get young people on the career ladder."

One Willenhall shop owner, who did not want to be named, said: "You see the place go downhill when one of these big fast food places open, the litter will be strewn all over the town and people just chuck stuff out the window."

KFC will also pay £20,000 for successful introductions for sites for its restaurants.

Boasting about its new drive-thru design, the KFC website said:"Our most popular asset, which is now more flexible in both design and foot print than ever before. We can fit into sites more than 0.3 acres and will consider vacant sites and even existing building conversion.

"Every new KFC will bring with it a range of local investments - in jobs and award winning training, cutting-edge restaurant design plus a commitment to work alongside local partners to make a real difference in every community through our charity work and food donation scheme."

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