Green light for Italian restaurant chain as council decision overturned

RESTAURANT chain Frankie and Benny’s have given granted planning permission to build a new restaurant on Flowerdown Retail Park following an appeal.

The initial application for the Italian-American diner and a Costa Coffee shop was rejected last year by North Somerset Council following concerns that it would divert people away from the main town centre.

In a statement given to the appeal inquiry hearing in July, a spokesman for Cranford Developments said: “The provision of food and drinks facilities, such as Costa and Frankie, are commonly found at retail parks across the country and are widely accepted to be complementary facilities to the main retail offer.”

It was also pointed out to the council that the B&Q store had a caf� of its own on site.

Senior council planning officers had campaigned against the project for a long time amid concerns that fewer people would come into Weston itself.

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In a report outlining reasons for refusal the council said: “It will undoubtedly attract customers who are not visiting the retail units and will become a destination in its own right – attracting trade and expenditure that would otherwise be directed to the town centre.”

A spokesman for Frankie and Benny’s said they were pleased to moving to the area.

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He said: “We are delighted at the decision and looking forward to bringing Frankie and Benny’s to Weston in the summer of 2012.”

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