Wednesday, October 3, 2018

News: Planners chew over proposals for new Rotherham burger outlet

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A Doncaster-based food firm has identified an empty unit in Rotherham as it beefs up expansion plans for its burger chain concept.

One of the largest suppliers of burgers and meat to the fast food sector in the UK, Paragon Foods has a large food manufacturing centre at West Moor Park in Doncaster. A few years ago, Paragon Foods decided to open their own burger restaurant with a vision to provide a good quality alternative burger restaurant that differed from national chains.

The first Urban Fresh Burger & Fries opened at Wheatley Hall Road in Doncaster and following its success, Paragon are now looking to create a network of restaurants throughout South Yorkshire, with a second location due to open at Lakeside in Doncaster.

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Now a planning application has been submitted to Rotherham Council that would enable an Urban Burger to open at the Tradeworld development at Parkgate.

The £5.5m trade counter retail development was completed in December 2016 and is home to the likes of Halfords Autocentre, National Tyre Services and the Gym Group. However, Unit 7 has remained vacant since opening with no interest in the unit shown.

The development has a number of consents for trade counter and bulky goods retail use but not for a restaurant / cafe. Bakewell-based Litton Property Group, which purchased the Ruscon engineering works on Rotherham Road in 2003, is now applying for a change of use for the 2,000 sq ft unit.

If approved, the new outlet would employ eight full time staff and four part-time staff. Urban Burger offers flat iron beef burgers, chicken fillet burgers and Mediterranean veggie burgers.

As it is an edge of centre site, a sequential test is included in the plans in line with "town centre first" national and local planning policies. Sequential tests ensure that development is located in the most sustainable location first (usually in town centres), before other, less sustainable locations are chosen.

The test concludes that there no sequentially preferable sites, discounting sites in Rotherham town centre, Parkgate, Rawmarsh and Dalton.

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The application, drawn up by DPP Consultants, concludes: "The proposed use of the existing unit is compatible with the mixed-use nature of the Tradeworld development and will not raise any significant amenity concerns. Further, the proposed development will bring a vacant unit into beneficial use and contribute to the supply of employment opportunities within the borough.

"The proposals will also not undermine the supply of employment land within the Borough and will not restrict the delivery of the economic objectives of the borough."

Urban Fresh Burger & Fries website

Images: Urban Fresh Burger & Fries

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