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Hickory's Smokehouse on the way to Shropshire

By Rory Smith | Telford | Telford entertainment | Published:

Hickory's Smokehouse will be bringing its first restaurant to the county after planners approved the company's application.

Hickory's already has seven branches, including this one in Wall Heath

The firm will construct its first ever new-build on land at The Rock, opposite Old Park roundabout in Telford.

It will be the first time the company, which serves Deep South style American barbecue food, has built a restaurant from scratch.

Hickory's already has seven branches across the West Midlands and North West, including its restaurant in Wall Heath which had to be rebuilt after it burned down in 2016.

A meeting was held on Wednesday evening to decide on the build, which will create up to 100 jobs, and was passed by a majority vote.

Leon Murray, Hadley & Leegomery councillor, said: "We are building a city here in Telford and we need facilities like this.

"We need people and businesses to come here and we need the right facilities coming here to help create this.

"I believe this is going to help and it is what Telford needs and for that reason I support this new restaurant."

But Horsehay & Lightmoor councillor, Jayne Greenaway, who opposed the build, said the volume of traffic brought to the road combined with recent planning applications will be too much.

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She added: "The cumulative impact of three applications in recent weeks needs to be considered.

"Firstly, we've had the Johnson's Recycling site where it was found will create a minimum of 50 HGV journeys a day, in addition to more than 360 new homes in the area which will all have access on to Rock Road.

"The parish believes that the impact of the increased traffic due to the Hickory's application alone is not acceptable, however, looking at it in the context of being just one of three application affecting the road, alternative traffic proposals must be considered."

Units were considered in Telford's new Southwater development for the restaurant, but the site was considered not suitable by the company.

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Planning officer Steven Drury said: "Hickory's bosses have demonstrated that no other sites are available and that units were looked at in Southwater, but as they want this to be their first self-built restaurant, this space next to Old Park roundabout meets their requirements.

"The proposed development will provide a distinctive, high quality facility that will provide new jobs and careers in the area."

The amended application will see the smokehouse have a 90 space car park, and be open from 9am to 12pm.

Peter Millar, Hickory's Smokehouse planning agent, said: "I want to address the comments made by local people.

"We have eight other venues, seven of which are closer to residential houses, and we have had no problems over noise, smell, or traffic disturbances at any of these sites.

"We will have an entrance that is always manned to distinguish any anti-social behaviour that may occur and we have altered our opening times as we do not plan on being a late night drinking establishment.

"We want to offer a great service to this growing town and provide a community hub, a pub and a great eating experience."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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