The colonel's application to open a drive-thru KFC in West Wickham has been deferred by Bromley councillors, after huge opposition from vocal locals.

Under the plans the now closed La Rioja restaurant - formerly the White Hart - in Wickham Road will be demolished to make way for the town's second KFC.

Bromley Council's planning board has received more than 600 objections, addressing health concerns for local schoolchildren and safety fears over increased traffic.

Despite this, ahead of a planning meeting on October 8 it had looked like residents would be disappointed after planning officers recommended the application for approval.

But at the meeting councillors initially voted against the proposal, before they were advised by officers to defer their decision until a new traffic survey is carried out, in a bid to prevent costly appeals by the applicant.

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On behalf of the Say No campaign Kat Clarke, of Wilmar Gardens, said she was thankful to the councillors who visited the site before casting their vote.

She said: "We were disappointed it wasn't thrown out immediately but we were very encouraged that the councillors had really made an effort.

"I would like to thank a lot of the councillors who bothered to come and see the site for themselves."

The group has repeatedly disputed traffic figures put forward by the applicant and urged Bromley Council to conduct a new survey using the existing McDonalds drive-thru, which is only 650m away.

A council spokesperson said: "The application was deferred to allow for further transport assessment work to be conducted and this assessment, along with the existing, will be considered again at a future planning committee meeting."

KFC franchise company Auriga Holdings Limited says it has requested feedback from the community throughout the planning process.


Spokesman Afnan Bashir said the application has been scrutinised by council officers and claims a transportation assessment has shown there will be "negligible impact" on traffic levels.

He said: "The detailed analysis by council officers and external consultants has confirmed that this planning application is acceptable in terms of policy, heritage, trees, conservation, flood risk, ecology and noise. 

"It will reuse a locally listed commercial building that has remained vacant for in excess of 12 months. 

"It will maintain the open space on the site and manage it for nature conservation purposes.

"It will deliver new employment opportunities which are particularly suited to younger people."