Council defends Parkgate restaurant rejection

Rotherham’s town centre will never improve if planners continue “belligerently” shunning national retailers, it was claimed.

Conservative group leader Cllr John Gilding spoke out after the borough council turned down Frankie and Benny’s at Parkgate Shopping and KFC at Canklow.

He said: “How on earth do we think, by refusing these plans, we will ever coerce national companies to move to Rotherham town centre?

“They will realise we have a belligerent planning board which keeps pumping out decisions like this.”

The board turned down KFC’s proposed takeaway and drive-thru on Canklow Road because of the effect it would have on residents\_also noting its close proximity to a school.

Frankie and Benny’s was rejected at officer level in June, when it was claimed that it would harm town centre trade.

Cllr Gilding said: “I would suggest it would have been better to be decided by committee rather than one officer, even though it’s abiding by the rules.

“These should be chances we take with both hands when national companies want to come to Rotherham and bring jobs.”

But Cllr Gerald Smith, Cabinet member for town centres and economic growth, defended the KFC decision, saying: “It was a good decision made by a good, active planning board.”

Planning board chairman Cllr Dave Pickering stood by the decision for the Frankie and Benny’s Parkgate plan not going before the board.

He explained that it was suitable for an officer decision because of its size and the number of objections.