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Plans for former Little Chef to become KFC drive thru

A former Little Chef near Newark which has stood empty for nine years is likely to be turned into a drive-through KFC.

The roadside restaurant served travellers on the A1 at Cromwell for nearly 40 years before its closure.

Little Chefs used to be a common sight at service stations and motorways up and down the country, but the chain folded under pressure from fast food restaurants.

The Cromwell branch closed in 2005, and briefly became a Café Amore until it shut for a final time in 2015, and has stood empty ever since.

Newark & Sherwood District Council is expected to approve an application from Welcome Break Services Ltd to turn the building into a KFC.

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However, Cromwell Parish Council have expressed worries about safety on the sliproad to the A1 services.

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“The road simply has too much traffic attempting to do too many different things in a very short distance and at the same time,” the council said in a written objection.

“The exit and entrance at the A1 will be a danger point, with traffic to the service station and to & from the café all meeting and crossing at the same point.”

It adds that it “warmly welcomed the possibility of full and part-time employment for young people, and the meeting was quite happy to accept the demolition of the Café Amore”.

The building, on the northbound lane of the A1, will only provide drive-through services, and will have a 44 space car park.

The planning application says: “The location of the former Little Chef is ideally located to provide a modern roadside facility to serve the volume of passing traffic on the A1.”

It adds that the Little Chef’s previous closure was due to “a lack of investment and inability to compete with the emerging fast-food outlets”.

The Little Chef franchise was rescued from administration in 2007, but continued to decline and is no longer operating in the UK.

The plans are recommended for approval at the council’s planning committee meeting on Thursday, July 11.

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