A fast food joint in the middle of a historic town has been labelled “garish” and “plasticky” by conservationists keen to see its flamboyant frontage toned down or removed.
Chicken World, which is opposite Eastgate House, a grade 1 listed Elizabethan town house in Rochester High Street has been blasted for its appearance by the City of Rochester Society who feel it is not in “harmony” with the period properties nearby.
The diner, formerly known as The Chicken Hut, has applied to Medway Council to install a new shop front and sign.
A planning statement said the alterations had been “designed to match the surrounding area and detailed in traditional methods to retain the historic character”.
It adds: “The proposed shop front will introduce architectural and decorative features that have been previously lost in 20th century alterations, to match the historic architectural style/features of the high street.”
Chicken World manager Mayroon Siva said when they took over the premises they did not know it was listed.
He said the new designs were in the hands of his solicitors and he was waiting to hear back from the council.
But society members are still not happy with the revised alterations..
Alan Moss, CoRS president said: “In our opinion, the new design does not achieve this, again mainly in terms of its colour scheme, which is in harsh contrast to the surrounding buildings.
“Its lack of harmony with Eastgate House – just a few yards away, is particularly unfortunate.
“It’s plasticky, In some places it would not look unexceptional, but this is in a conservation area and next to a row of Tudor buildings
“How such a colour scheme could ever be considered suitable in such a setting is beyond belief.”
The group regularly makes representations to Medway Council on planning applications and is concerned about the businesses’ application to change it from a sale of hot food and drink operation to a takeaway.
It feels the sale of hot food “inevitably encourages customers to park close to where they will be making their purchases”.
And in this case, they argue it would result in an increase in on-street parking in an area “frequently thronged with parked vehicles”.
“Whilst the Society is keen to see businesses thrive in the High Street, this cannot be entirely at the expense of good design, harmony with its surroundings and the integrity of the conservation area itself,” it adds.