Car showroom to replace former Frankie & Benny's in Stafford despite traffic concerns
The transformation of the former Frankie & Benny’s in Stafford into a car showroom is poised to go ahead – despite fears it will add to traffic chaos on the A34.
The conversion of the Lichfield Road landmark into a base for Foxearth Sports, Prestige and 4x4, creating five jobs, has been recommended for approval by Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee.
The building – which dates back to 1907 – stands empty after the restaurant chain closed earlier this year and opened a new branch at the Riverside shopping centre in town.
Council planning chiefs have recommended giving the scheme the green light, saying it will successfully bring the building back into use.
A report for tonight’s meeting says: “The proposals would bring about the suitable re-use of this vacant building which would not significantly impact on visual or residential amenity or the character or appearance of the Conservation Area.”
But the plans for a car showroom there have sparked some opposition ahead of the final planning decision tonight.
Among those against the new use is Councillor Chris Baron, who referred the plans to the planning committee with concerns over a rise in traffic along the adjacent A34.
She said: “It’s horrendous getting across those roads. I go up the Lichfield Road regularly and I dread driving down there. Something has got to be done about looking at the road layout.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate – we’ve already got at showroom at Radford Bank and the Citroen garage just up the road. To have another one in-between the two is unnecessary and I really don’t think it’s the right type of building.
"This would just create more fast traffic.”
The existing car park on the west side would be used for customer and staff parking and 18 spaces are shown to be used for external vehicle sales display.
No one from Foxearth wished to comment.