WILDLIFE experts have objected to plans to build a fast food takeaway on the edge of Colchester.

Essex Wildlife Trust is opposing KFC’s plans to build a drive-thru in Ipswich Road because the development could harm a protected species of bat.

In a letter to Tendring District Council, which will decide on the planning application, the trust said: “Evidence suggests that trees directly adjacent to the site boundary are regularly used by roasting bats and the application site itself provides hunting and foraging habitat for this local bat population.

“Essex Wildlife Trust wishes to register an objection to the proposal.”

The trust has also recommended bat surveys to be carried out before a decision on the application is made.

Nearby residents and Colchester Council have strongly objected to the plans, which would create up to 40 new jobs.

It is feared the development would damage visitors’ first perceptions of the town when they arrive and would also take custom away from town centre takeaways.