KFC look set to clear the final hurdle in the firm’s controversial bid to open a branch in the centre of Scarborough.
Council officers have recommended councillors approve the fast food firm’s planning application at the former Sydenhams unit in Huntriss Row.
The plans have split the town, with neighbouring traders airing fears the restaurant almost 6,000 people campaigned for on Facebook could be a magnet for drunken louts and litter.
But unless Licensing Committee members go against officer’s recommendations at a town hall meeting on August 14, KFC will have the green light once the vacant unit is converted to open up.
When that will be is still unclear, as the firm has repeatedly remained tight-lipped over a timescale for the proposed restaurant.
What is known is that around 30 jobs would be created, although the vast majority would be part-time.
But one person who does want to see the Kentucky-based firm finally open a Scarborough shop is the council’s investment manager Nick Taylor.
In a report to go before councillors, he claims the restaurant’s arrival will “set a benchmark for quality”.
He adds that the chicken shop would be an “evening product” for visitors to the town, and would assist in broadening the food offer in the town centre.
But a band of local traders have previously warned that with fellow fast food giants Pizza Hut and McDonald’s only yards away, the street is becoming “saturated” with such venues.
And there are also concerns that teenage “gangs”, already congregating at night on the street, could cause disorder and deter visitors from the area.
Some also say they don’t want the business to arrive as it may cause their business to suffer, due to a decrease in footfall.
But with the sports shop unit empty for nigh on three years, supporters say the arrival of the company should be welcomed.
And Chamber of Trade Chairman Janet Jefferson has also welcomed KFC’s intended arrival, claiming it would “offer a big boost to the economy”.