RESIDENTS have dubbed plans to approve a fast food drive-thru on the edge of Colchester as “criminal”.

Planners have recommended KFC is allowed to build the new restaurant next to the historic Lion and Lamb Cottage, in Ipswich Road, in spite of stiff opposition.

Residents and councillors have claimed the development would be inappropriate for the area and would increase litter, noise and make the stretch of road unsafe because it would become too busy.

Stephanie Dass, who lives in the adjoining cottage and has helped to lead the opposition, said: “Everyone here is against it, Colchester Council is against it, councillors are against it and yet here we are with a recommendation for approval.

“The only people who think this is a good idea is KFC and Tendring District Council. It is criminal.”

Tendring District Council planning committee is set to debate the application tonight.

If it is approved, the proposed restaurant would be allowed to open between 6am and 11pm every day and would create up to 40 jobs.

KFC would also have to install acoustic fencing and have to come up with a way to keep litter to an absolute minimum, while CCTV would also be installed.

Neil Stock, Tendring District councillor for Ardleigh, who initially asked for the application to be heard by the committee, said in spite of the recommendation, he is hopeful his speech at the meeting tonight will persuade members to reject the application.

“This is absolutely the wrong place for this kind of development,” he added.

“It does not benefit Tendring and it does not benefit Colchester.”

A KFC spokeswoman said: “KFC can be a positive addition to any community, and we always try to be a good neighbour.

“We’ve listened to feedback and have amended our application to respond to concerns around noise and litter, and if successful, we will be happy to work closely with Colchester residents to ensure that any other issues are addressed."