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Greggs plans new drive-thru restaurant at Craigavon’s Marlborough Retail Park

Built adjacent to Burger King and Starbucks, the fast food favourite - famed for its sausage rolls - would serve up new jobs for the area too!

Greggs at Marlbrough Retail Park

Fast food favourite Greggs has sets its sights on opening a new drive-thru restaurant at the Marlborough Retail Park at Craigavon, Armagh I can exclusively reveal.

The baked goods and coffee giant – famed for its sausage rolls – is currently trying to secure planning approval for the new development.

Proposals have been drawn up and lodged with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for consideration.

The new drive-thru, if given the go-ahead, would be located within the existing car park at the Marlborough Retail Park, on an area “adjacent and northeast” of the current Burger King outlet.

The plan is for a “drive-thru restaurant with outdoor seating area“, creating an as yet unspecified number of new jobs.

A supporting statement by TSA Planning – on behalf of Portadown-based Turkington Properties – confirms that the intended tenant is Greggs.

Marlborough Retail Park has grown since it replaced the former B&Q store, which closed almost eight years ago. It now boasts over 80,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, with tenants including Marks & Spencer, Home Bargains, O’Neills and Airtastic.

Plans were also approved last year to build two new units and a gym, to the left end of the row, with one understood to be for a big name food retailer.

Previously, plans had been approved for three stand-alone food units. Only two of those started and remain trading – Burger King and Starbucks. The third previously approved ‘pod’ never came into being.

Until now…

The intention is for the third to be built, with a renewed application made, which “represents an amendment to a previously approved restaurant unit”.

The amendment is in relation to the size of the development; the internal design would be ‘similar’, but the new drive-thru would boast floorspace of close to 2,000 sq ft, which is smaller than that previously rubber-stamped.

It would also see a slight decrease in the available overall parking on site to accommodate the new-build.

A supporting planning statement reveals that “the proposal represents an amendment to the third food and beverage unit, a restaurant pod”, for the Marlborough Retail Park site, and would “provide a drive-thru, to be occupied by Greggs”.

Inside, the drive-thru would boast seating for 31 customers, employee ‘back of house’ facilities, workstations, and internal/covered bin storage. There would also be staff and customer toilet facilities, with disabled provision included.

There would be outdoor seating too, accompanied by balustrade screening, with one main entrance, a back of house entrance, and a single ordering intercom and a pay and collect hatch for the drive-thru.

Dedicated specifically for the new Greggs would be a total of 29 car parking spaces, two of which would be disabled bays.

In terms of access and traffic flow arrangements, the supporting statement explains: “The drive-thru restaurant is to be accessed by Highfield Grove roundabout via the primary car park, as per the adjacent drive-thru restaurant unit of the retail park. The drive-thru system is designed to enter from the south, giving eight queuing spaces from the drive-thru entrance through to the ordering intercom, to the pay and collect hatch, then exiting to the northeast of the proposal to the wider car parking of Marlborough Retail Park, with three waiting bays.”

Looking at planning policies, the statement says that, while “not a town centre use”, the drive-thru unit will “complement the existing uses within the retail park and wider town centre”.

And it adds: “The proposal site was previously accepted for a restaurant use and is situated adjacent to two existing drive-thru units. As such, the principle of the development in this location is well established.”

The applicant believes that the latest eatery for the Highfield site should go ahead, and insists there is “sufficient parking” to accommodate the plans.

The planning statement concludes: “The application is sought further to the successful redevelopment of Marlborough Retail Park, following the closure of B&Q in April 2016.

“The proposals will complement the existing retail, leisure and drive-thru uses to strengthen the vitality and viability of Craigavon town centre.”

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