Canadian coffee and doughnut giant Tim Hortons has been revealed as the company behind plans to turn the former Frankie & Benny’s in Shrewsbury into a drive-through restaurant.
The new site will be the multi-national chain’s first in Shropshire, and will bring around 40 jobs to to the town.
It is part of the firm’s big plans to scale up its UK operation, after bosses revealed in October last year that they wanted to create up to 2,000 jobs and open in “every major city and town” in the country over the next two years.
The company has remained tight-lipped over speculation that it wanted to take over the vacant Frankie & Benny’s in Battlefield Road, after an application for its change of use was lodged with Shropshire Council in November.
Documents submitted with the planning application said an “established international chain”, with 23 sites already in the UK, was interested in taking on the lease of the building if permission was granted. The firm declined to comment at the time.
The chain has however now been revealed as the “intended operator” of the drive-through, after it was named in new documents uploaded in support of the planning application.
Despite this, a Tim Hortons spokeswoman today said the company was still not in a position to make a statement on the Shrewsbury site.
The application has prompted objections from the council’s highways department, Shrewsbury Town Council and one member of the public, while there has been one public letter of support.
Highways consultants WSP, on behalf of the council, said: “The proposed drive through facility only has a pre-ordering queue capacity of six to seven vehicles, before it adversely affects the safe and free flow of traffic exiting the signalised junction travelling on the northbound carriageway of Battlefield Road.
“The nearby KFC and McDonald’s restaurants have considerably greater (pre-order point) internal queueing capacities – in excess of 20 vehicles – for their drive-through facilities
“Yet at peak times it has been known (pre-pandemic) for these restaurants to generate queuing traffic to adversely affect adjacent roads and business accesses.”
They said queues spilling out onto the road could pose a safety risk, with “frustrated drivers undertaking inappropriate manoeuvres”.
In response to the highways officers’ concerns, transport consultants Via Solutions Ltd, on behalf of the applicant, carried out a traffic survey at a similarly sized Tim Hortons restaurant near Glasgow to establish estimated queue lengths at peak times.
As a result the plans were amended to provide more space for vehicles queuing for the drive-through.
The planning application will be decided in due course by Shropshire Council.