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Anger at Kwik Fit plans

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Bob Kitchin
Bob Kitchin

by Chris Hunter


Is it wise to put an exhaust centre and garage next to a beauty salon?

Well the mechanics probably won’t mind, but Bob Kitchin fears the plan to put a Kwik Fit garage next to his hairdressers, Scissor Sisters, in Loose Road, Maidstone, could badly affect his business.

Kwik Fit was granted planning permission for a new sign last month, but doesn’t need permission to change the use of the site, which was previously leased out as a motorbike shop.

Mr Kitchin says planners should reconsider as the situation in Loose Road has changed and a garage would make the area treacherous for pedestrians.

“It’s not the sort of thing you should put next to a hairdressers,” he said.

“North Loose Residents Association have raised concerns too. There are traffic lights here, a shopping parade, a bus stop and a park at the back - there are a lot of pedestrians around.”

But a council spokesman said: “The planning authority has no powers to reconsider the use of this site.

“There was a garage on the site more than 40 years ago, so there has been no change of use.”

A Kwik Fit spokesman added: “We appreciate the concerns about potential increased traffic, but in reality, the number of vehicles will be a lot lower than for other types of retail businesses.

“We are making a significant investment in the centre and our aim is to be good neighbours.”

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