Published: 12:00, 07 November 2014
Plans have been unveiled for a 150-cover chain pub and restaurant in Faversham.
The Faversham News exclusively revealed in October that brewery Marston’s was to open an outlet at the former garden centre site in Canterbury Road, and we can now show you the plans.
More than 50 jobs could be up for grabs if the eatery planned for opposite the Shell garage is given the go-ahead by Swale council.
Marston’s spokesman John McElholm said: “The application has been registered and validated with the council and we’re expected to get a decision by mid-December.”
An application was published on Tuesday for the demolition of the old buildings and to construct a pub, restaurant, a residential unit, car park, garden, terrace and children’s play area.
The new venue will be one of Marston’s Two-for-One restaurants, which, as the name suggests, offers all meals at two for the price of one.
Marston’s also has rotisserie restaurants, carveries and Pitcher and Piano bars, but there are more than 130 Two-for-One restaurants with a total of 2,000 Marston’s outlets in the UK.
Developments south of the A2 have always been controversial in Faversham and the proposal is sure to cause a stir in the town as many fight to keep the big brands out and support independent businesses.
But in the application, Marston’s says that the “very different function” of restaurants in the town “will limit competition with the Marston’s proposal”.
They say: “The proposal will have a minimal impact on existing, committed and planned public and private investments in the town centre, and a minimal impact on town centre vitality and viability, choice and trade.”
As part of the application, they say there is a “need for more restaurants and public houses in Faversham and the wider area” and that the existing pubs in the town are “predominately wet pubs which contrasts with Marston’s food-orientated offer.”
Faversham Business Partnership supports independent businesses in the town.
Chairman Chris Bichard said: “We think this is a good opportunity for this vacant plot to be developed.
“We welcome any investment to achieve this, provided it is proven and shown to offer sustainable local employment.
“FBP is keen to discuss this with the developer, as we are establishing a recruitment service for the town and schools.
“However, the only caveat is their consideration for Macknade, who are also about to embark on a large project to enhance the employment and trade on the current site.
“Macknade is a positive contributor to the economy of Faversham and the surrounding area, but we are concerned about the amount of traffic that may end up coming through Selling Road.”
A Marston’s pub opened in Whitstable on Tuesday this week called Oyster Bed, and there is another in Sittingbourne called the Jenny Wren.
The Faversham pub does not currently have a name.