CONTROVERSIAL plans for a fast food centre in a Hampshire town look set to be approved next week after a two-year battle.

Council chiefs are being urged approve the latest application to build restaurants and drive-thru facilities for KFC and Costa Coffee beside the busy Rushington roundabout at Totton.

Two previous proposals to transform the site were withdrawn after sparking a huge number of protests - despite the promise of 65 jobs.

Now the applicants, Gentian Development (Totton) Ltd, have tried to overcome the objections by deleting a hot food take-away from the scheme.

But the proposed development is still facing opposition from Rushington residents, many of whom fear it will create extra traffic problems on the roundabout.

Totton and Eling Town Council has also lodged an objection, raising fears over pedestrian safety, “inadequate” parking and the prospect of litter polluting the area.

The scheme, which includes a convenience store, is due to be debated by the district council's planning and development control committee next Wednesday.

The application has sparked 60 letters of objection on top of the 153 generated by the earlier plans.

As reported by the Daily Echo, Hounsdown School has joined the protest campaign on the grounds that many of its pupils walk past the site.

Totton town and district councillor David Harrison said the scheme would cause unacceptable traffic hazards.

“The western approach to the roundabout along the A35 is already very busy and fast moving. It's obvious to me that this is a dangerous proposal that will give rise to frequent and serious accidents,” he said.

But highway bosses at Hampshire County Council have raised no objection, claiming the proposed development will cause only a “relatively small” increase in traffic.

A report to committee members says: “Both the drive-through restaurants and the local retail convenience store would be acceptable.

“The proposal would have an acceptable impact on highway safety and would be of acceptable design quality.

“Concerns have been raised about litter. While these concerns are entirely understandable, litter is ultimately a site management issue and is something individual operators would be expected to control.”

The report says planning officers should be authorised to approve the scheme, subject to the completion of legal agreements by July 31.