Published: 06:00, 12 June 2021
A bid to build a £200,000 “food village” that could end family squabbles over what to order in on a Friday night has been launched.
Eye-catching proposals to convert a disused plot in New Ruttington Lane - close to the centre of Canterbury - into the home of six takeaway-only kitchens have been revealed this week.
It will mean people being able to order in a Chinese, Indian, pizza and fish and chips all on the same delivery.
The project will see the cooking areas filled with a number of firms, whose dishes will be delivered to properties within a four-mile radius of the development.
Boss Simon Underwood says meals prepared at the site, called Canterbury Food Village, will be available on an app allowing customers to order grub from all of the eateries at once.
“From one order, they’ll be able to get a range of food,” the Faversham businessman explained.
“People won’t have to ask each other ‘do you fancy burgers or pizza tonight?’
“Everybody will be able to choose something different and it all comes as one delivery, with one delivery charge. What we’d like is to have a complete range of cuisines there.”
Mr Underwood, whose firm Delivery Only Kitchens is leading the project, expects as many as 25 people to be employed at the village, in addition to the fleet of riders paid to pedal food to punters.
He stresses that the eateries will also be served by the likes of Deliveroo and JustEat.
Two of the six kitchens have already been reserved by takeaway firms, ahead of the scheme’s planned launch in September.
However, meals at the village will not be available to buy or collect from the site itself.
“It’s purely delivery-only,” Mr Underwood added.
“We’ve got reservations and lots of people interested.
“We’re providing all the infrastructure to make sure they’re abiding by all of the regulations.
“It’s a complete package that they can walk into and immediately start their business.”
Plans submitted to Canterbury City Council show Mr Underwood wants to place six mobile kitchens, four walk-in freezers and four dry stores on the land, which had previously been used to store vehicles.
The village will operate between 11am and 11.30pm each day “to match the operating hours of takeaways and restaurants in Northgate”.
The spaces are expected to also accommodate businesses preparing mail-order cook-at-home meals and event caterers.
But Mr Underwood believes “the majority” of the kitchens will be occupied by takeaways.
“There’s absolutely nothing at the site at the moment - it’s an empty yard that’s been completely overgrown for the last 18 months,” Mr Underwood continued.
“For start-up businesses, the village would be an efficient option and for those who have been struggling with the overheads of a restaurant, this is a good solution for them.
“And with some restaurants, it could help them separate the delivery side of their operation with their eat-in service.
“To start with, we will have three delivery riders, who will use electric bikes, and that will grow as demand grows.”
He expects the city council to reach a decision on the scheme by August.