FAST-FOOD giant KFC has reignited attempts to open a new restaurant in Whiteley.

The chain has filed an appeal against the refusal of proposals by Winchester City Council's (WCC) planning committee.

KFC want to open a drive-thru restaurant on the site off Solent Way, near junction 9 of the M27.

A government-appointed planning inspector will now assess the case and give a ruling on the appeal.

A statement submitted on behalf of appellants Amsric Foods Ltd by Savills says: "The proposed developed creates significant employment opportunities given the size of the site and the fact that it is otherwise an unviable proposition for tradition B Class employment uses."

The KFC restaurant would provide 22 full-time and 33 part-time jobs at the site near the Lidl store, according to the company.

A letter from Liz Marsden, WCC's principal planning officer, to the planning inspector says: "The members of the planning committee, following extensive debate considered that the type of employment generated by the proposal would dilute the primary use of the area for business purposes.

"In addition members concluded that the development would create an additional burden on the surrounding highway infrastructure."

The statement from Savills says Hampshire County Council's highways department raised no objection to the application, subject to conditions.

However, as previously reported, Whiteley resident Wendy Backwell told members of WCC's planning committee that she feared the drive-thru restaurant would heighten congestion problems in the area.

She highlighted the death of her friend, named only as Stan, who passed away in Whiteley after an ambulance was unable to get to his home because of heavy traffic.

“At least 650 residents are behind what I’m saying," said Ms Backwell. "It is our human right to prevent incidental and accidental death.

“We are haunted by what happened with Stan and it’s unacceptable that the traffic in our town has caused so many accident blackspots - including where this restaurant would be built.

“Enough is enough. Who else has to die before officers see what is staring them in the face?”

At the committee meeting, Cllr Jane Rutter said: “Surely this KFC would create the perfect storm of traffic chaos. The timing with the highway situation is alarming to say at the least.”