Fast-food giant McDonald’s is plotting to open its first restaurant in a Kent seaside town.
The international chain has confirmed it is eyeing up a site at Altira Park in Herne Bay – a move that is expected to create as many as 80 new jobs.
It is the company’s favoured location, as it aims to put an end to residents having to travel to the nearest branch in Chestfield for their Big Mac fix.
A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We are currently looking at opportunities to bring a new store to the area, and are interested in the site at Altira Park.
“A new McDonald’s restaurant would bring significant investment to the area and create 60-80 jobs.”
Th announcement comes as developers Kitewood and Urban and Civic reveal plans to double the size of Altira Park.
Firm Core Commercial is marketing 11 yet-to-be-built units, totalling 200,000 sq ft, on a plot of scrubland surrounding the site's Sainsbury’s megastore.
Ward councillor Ian Stockley expects the development to spark a much-needed jobs boost in the area.
But the Tory says McDonald’s failed to secure the support of council officers for its proposals prior to the outbreak of Covid two years ago.
“I believe the developer had some interest from people like McDonald’s and fast-food restaurants,” the Conservative recalled.
“I heard through council officers that that had gone through as an enquiry to the planning department.
“But officers weren’t too keen on it because it didn’t fit with the Local Plan [the district’s building blueprint], which has allocated the land for commercial use.”
Advertising material says the proposed buildings – the largest of which will have 50,000 sq ft of floorspace – have already been given the green light to be used as offices, industrial units and warehouses.
Core Commercial also notes the Bay, which is earmarked for more than 3,000 new homes, “will be the prime focus for growth and investment along the district’s coastal corridor”.
And last year, the site was put forward for inclusion in the authority’s revised Local Plan, which will map out construction in the area until 2040.
“What we really need because of the housing we’re going to get in the town is more employment opportunities – and these plans should provide that,” Cllr Stockley added.
“Our population is already short of good-quality jobs; this development should add to that.
"Herne Bay is up and coming, and projects like this add to business confidence in the area."
In recent years, major firms Sainsbury’s, Snap Fitness and Screwfix have opened premises at Altira.
When asked two years ago about the expansion, David Marriott, of Core Commercial, said: “There’s still more land to go down there, which we have potential interest for.
“We’re looking at high-quality business units down there.”