Costa Coffee and Popeye's Chicken drive-thrus planned for edge of town

It comes after Scottish national planning framework announced curbs on drive-thrus.

Plans submitted to open new Costa Coffee and Popeye’s Chicken drive-thrus at Bankhead Park, Glenrothes iStock

Developers have proposed two new drive-thru chains on the southern edge of Glenrothes. 

If approved, Costa Coffee and Popeye’s Chicken will move into the Bankhead Park neighbourhood.  

Plans also include an EV charging hub, car parking, and new access from the main road. 

The Glenrothes proposals, lodged by Stirling-based Bluewater (Glenrothes 1) Limited, come after the Scottish national planning framework announced curbs on drive-thrus and out of town development in November. 

The Scottish Government published a revised draft called NPF4. The document specifically addressed drive-thru developments, and recommended a more restrictive approach to new out of town retail and drive-thrus.

However, Bankhead Park planning statement argued that “NPF4 does not, as has been suggested in the press, constitute a ban on drive through restaurants.” 

Developers specifically argued for approval based on the recently completed McDonald’s restaurant and drive through immediately south of the site at Bankhead Services. 

A planning statement said that new out of town developments and drive-thrus which are supported by the Local Development Plan and policy on local living can and should be approved. 

It added: “There will be no amenity impacts. The proposal is also acceptable in terms of its impact on roads, and will provide the necessary transport measures to minimise and manage future levels of traffic generated by it. It is accessible by other modes of transport.

The proposal is also in keeping with the scale, massing, layout, and height of the existing built form at this location, and will have no adverse visual impact. The new EV charging hub will help add to the national network that is required for drivers.”

Costa Coffee and Popeye’s would sit alongside the Travelodge Hotel as well as the Bankhead Service area to the south. 

In addition to the recently completed McDonald’s, the service area has a BP Connect garage, M&S Simply Food retail unit, and a Beijing Banquet restaurant. 

Fife Council will consider the application in due course.

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