Friday, September 16, 2011

News: Frankie & Benny's plans back on the table


Plans for a 377 sq m Frankie & Benny's restaurant at Parkgate Shopping in Rotherham have been resubmitted after initial plans were refused earlier this year.

British Land, the owners of the retail park, submitted plans that would replace the existing management and toilet block in the centre of the park, creating a restaurant and 30 FTE jobs. The estimated investment is almost £2m and would also result in 30-40 construction jobs.

The reasons for refusal given in the officer's report was that the development would be a destination in its own right and would divert trade, investment and expenditure away from Rotherham town centre. It also concluded that there were preferable sites for a restaurant in the town centre. Both are contrary to national planning policies designed to promote sustainable economic growth and used to protect town centres.

The new application still states that potential sites in the town centre are unsuitable for a Frankie & Benny's restaurant and that "no significant adverse impact will arise on either the A3 [restaurant] sector, or importantly Rotherham Town Centre as a whole."

However, to address the council's concerns regarding the development diverting trade, investment and expenditure away from Rotherham town centre, British Land are looking to enter into a section 106 agreement with the council to mitigate the affects of the development.

Heads of terms have been prepared for a £130,000 contribution to be used by the council on a range of initiatives to improve the vitality and viability of Rotherham town centre.

Such initiatives are to include; town centre parking initiatives (including the provision of subsidised free parking), improvement of indoor market entrances, supporting the vitality grants scheme, Freebee bus support, town centre business support and joint marketing and promotional initiatives. Any unspent funds would be reimbursed after five years.

The applicants believe that the agreement would make the development acceptable in planning terms.

The plans also state that opening at Parkgate would not preclude the operators of Frankie & Benny's, The Restaurant Group, from opening another outlet within the town centre. For example, operating a Chiquitos outlet alongside a cinema or leisure development.

A spokesperson from The Restaurant Group said: "We would be happy to consider any subsequent identified locations as part of a broadening of the leisure function within the town centre, as any such location would be complementary, rather than mutually exclusive, with our commitment to Parkgate."

Images: Ingenium Archial Ltd / British Land


Tom,  March 9, 2012 at 2:48 PM  

Planning permission for the development was granted in February 2012.

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