HUNGRY motorists who want their burger and fries within minutes could make Denbigh town centre their place to go after a plan has been made to build two fast food restaurants there.

In a development that would bring up to 50 jobs, Hindle Property Investments would turn the former Wool Producers Depot site on Grove Road, near Vale Street retail park, into two separate drive-thrus.

The occupiers of the proposed buildings are yet to be decided, however their layout has been revealed in a design and access statement submitted alongside the planning application to Denbighshire County Council.

Last month the council revealed its scheme to tackle childhood obesity in Denbighshire. The county has one of the highest rates of overweight children in Wales.

Denbighshire Free Press:

The former Wool Producers Depot. Picture: KMA Studio

The nearest drive-thru to Denbigh is McDonalds in Caerwys, while there is a KFC in Rhuddlan. There is also a Subway at a petrol station in St Asaph.

In the plan, one building unit would cover 117 square metres and have nine car park spaces, while unit two would be 378 square metres with 27 spaces and additional motorcycle spaces.

HPI said that the current appearance of the old wool collection depot “undermines the street scene”, whereas the “individual identity and distinctiveness” of the drive-thrus would improve it.

The application made no mention of the impact that the drive-thrus might have on the air quality of nearby properties, though it said that it would plant trees and shrubbery to “promote biodiversity”.

According to data released by the Child Measurement Programme for Wales in April, nearly 30 per cent of children in Denbighshire are at an unhealthy weight or obese, above the national average of 27 per cent.

HPI’s access statement added that the drive-thrus plan would be “improving upon existing pedestrian routes/links within the area” by constructing surrounding pavement and “assisting with existing car parking problems for local residents”.

Denbighshire County Council is set to give primary and secondary school age children cookery lessons so that they can make healthier choices when it comes to the food they eat.

Denbighshire Free Press:

A layout of the proposed site at the bottom of Grove Road. Picture: KMA Studio

Gwyneth Kensler, county councillor for Denbigh Central, said she could not comment about HPI’s application in detail as she is a member of the planning committee but that her primary concern would be traffic congestion.

“This area of town is extremely hazardous with the development of Aldi and the supported housing further up Grove Road,” she said. “I will have to study the application carefully.”

Rhys Thomas, county councillor for Denbigh, said he has encountered excitement from residents about what the drive-thru might be, however he is concerned about the impact the plan might have on the quiet residential area, including increased traffic and problems that come with restaurants such as the smell of food.

“The street is very close to residential properties which is a big factor that needs to be considered,” he said. “The nearby retail park already causes traffic and shuts at 10pm but the drive-thrus would presumably be open all hours.

“There is only one access point at the bottom of Grove Road, which would need to be sorted before a plan goes ahead.”

Cllr Thomas, who was a teacher for 30 years and was involved in health education, said it is his opinion that “access to fast food is not a good thing” but that diet is “a personal and parental choice”.

“I do worry about the increase in fast food outlets however,” he added.

Mark Young, Denbigh county councillor and member of the planning committee, urged residents to take part in the council’s public consultation during the application process.

Cllr Young, who is also a governor at the nearby Denbigh High School, responded to concerns about the impact the drive-thrus might have on obesity saying that “an approach through education” would be most effective. “There needs to be more sport and activity in school than there is at the moment as well as a shared responsibility among schools and families,” he said.

“But I would urge residents to make their thoughts heard about the plan so that the council can understand their feelings.”