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Greggs' first drive-thru in Kent to open within next year in Sittingbourne near Milton Creek Country Park

Greggs’ first Kent drive-thru will be opening within the next year – and bringing with it a new car park for a Sittingbourne beauty spot.

Work is now under way to convert the former Regis Medical Centre, in Saffron Way, Milton Regis, into a branch of the British bakery chain.

A Greggs drive-thru is coming to Sittingbourne
A Greggs drive-thru is coming to Sittingbourne

A spokesman for Greggs said: “We can confirm we’re looking to open a drive-thru in Sittingbourne within the next year and will be sure to share information in due course.”

Plans were granted permission by Swale Borough Council last October, although the finer details, such as building standards and a plan for dealing with fumes and smells, still need approval before the store can open.

One benefit of the scheme is that it will mean nearby Milton Creek Country Park will be able to finally open a car park - a 29-year-long ambition.

Park ranger Kristian Staples said: “When it was originally built an area was set aside.

“Since Greggs have bought the land for their new drive-thru and agreed to build an access road to the country park, an area with 60 spaces will be available to the public.

Milton Creek Country Park, Sittingbourne
Milton Creek Country Park, Sittingbourne
Park Ranger Kristian Staples
Park Ranger Kristian Staples

“This will have massive benefits for the country park and draw in more visitors.

“We’re hoping it will be open around October time.”

But the new drive-thru has sparked mixed reactions in the town.

Amy Remmington, a 31-year-old from Sittingbourne, said: “We don’t need more fast food in the town.

“The area could’ve been used for something better like a park or green space for children.

Boards showing the new Greggs drive-thru in Milton, Sittingbourne
Boards showing the new Greggs drive-thru in Milton, Sittingbourne

“We’ve got enough fast food places in Sittingbourne, it is just round the corner from the McDonald’s and KFC drive-thrus too.”

Her mum, Chris Remmington, from Rainham agreed.

The 60-year-old said: “If it was on brownfield land then maybe it could’ve been turned into something like a skate park instead of a drive-thru.”

But Olu Ola, a 49-year-old from Sittingbourne, believes the new project is a good idea.

She said: “Having the drive-thru means you don’t have to come into town just for Greggs.”

Olu Ola, 49, from Sittingbourne
Olu Ola, 49, from Sittingbourne

Two friends enjoying a coffee and a Greggs takeaway in the sun had mixed opinions.

Ceren Yurumus, 22, said: “Milton Regis is really out the way for people on their way to work or heading to the train station.

“I much prefer the Greggs location in the High Street.”

Her friend, 24-year-old Yasemine Jarvis, disagreed.

She said: “I think it will be good for commuters, rather than having to drive into the High Street and stressing to find somewhere to park you’ll just be able to go to the drive-thru instead.”

From left to right: Ceren Yurumus, 22, and Yasemine Jarvis, 24, from Sittingbourne
From left to right: Ceren Yurumus, 22, and Yasemine Jarvis, 24, from Sittingbourne

Cllr Tony Winckless (Lab), who represents Milton Regis on Swale council, believes the new eatery will be an asset to the community.

He said: “As far as I am aware the new drive-thru is already under construction.

“As I understand it the Greggs store will open late summer or autumn time.

“I understand people are concerned that the are could’ve been used as green space, however, Greggs have paid for and will be supplying an access road to Milton Creek Country Park.

“This is greatly needed due to parking problems in the area.

Cllr Tony Winckless (Labour)
Cllr Tony Winckless (Labour)

“If we didn’t have that access road the cars attending the country park for events or days out would park in the surrounding roads like Saffron Way.

“Overall I think this is a great project.”

To view the plans click here and use the reference 21/503978/FULL.

The Regis Medical Centre, formerly based in a temporary building on the Greggs site, moved to Quartz Way and is now known as The Meads Medical Centre.

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