KFC opening at Tettenhall ‘would go like a 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 have a new restaurant.

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

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

Veteran Tettenhall Regis councilor Jonathan Yardley, who has represented the area for 18 years, said: “A new KFC drive-thru will drop like a lead balloon in the village of Tettenhall.

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

“And if they look at the derelict site at the junction of Tettenhall and Henwood roads, it would be terrible for traffic.

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

KFC in Penn reopened to great fanfare in November

Tettenhall Regis councilor Sohail Khan added: “Normally I would welcome new businesses to the area, but I just don’t see where a big drive-thru KFC could work in Tettenhall.

“There is certainly not enough space in the village for a new big 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, it would make the problems ten times worse.”

He added: “If KFC wanted to move into a business park on the neighborhood or city side I would be happy, but there just isn’t the room in Tettenhall.

“And that’s before we even get into the arguments about obesity and fast food.”

KFC has not released details of possible sites in Tettenhall, but some advisers believe a former Esso service station would be available for redevelopment.

In November, the KFC drive-thru at 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 councilor and youth employment worker at Juniper Training, Simon Hackett, welcomes the investment and employment opportunities.

He said: “It’s great news as long as they work with local communities on all proposals. I would like to see much needed jobs for our local community including apprenticeships to move young people up the career ladder. career.”

A shop owner from Willenhall, who did not want to be named, said: “You see the place go downhill when one of these big fast food outlets opens, the litter will be strewn all over town and people will throw just stuff out the window.”

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

Boasting of its new drive-thru design, the KFC website said: “Our most popular asset, which is now more flexible in design and footprint than ever before. We can adapt to venues of more than 0.3 acres and will consider vacant sites and even the transformation of an existing building.

“Each new KFC will bring a range of local investment – ​​in award-winning jobs and training, cutting-edge restaurant design and a commitment to working alongside local partners to make a real difference in every community through our charitable work and to our food donation program.