Developer quashes KFC rumours

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Rumours were rife this week that the town is about to welcome a major fast-food franchise to the new Commercial Road development.

Several reports over the past few weeks suggested that the popular Kentucky Fried Chicken brand could share a spot with the German supermarket giant Aldi.

And comments on social networking site Facebook this week linked local property developer Gavin Stevenson to the KFC bid.

But yesterday, Mr Stevenson denied that the fast food outlet, which was founded in Kentucky in 1952 by Harland Sanders and has 19,000 outlets worldwide, was coming to the town.

In a statement to the Hawick News, Mr Stevenson said: “We are not in discussion with KFC or any other fast food operator. We have also heard rumours in this regard and we would confirm our planning application will not include a fast food element.”

The planning application to develop the former Wilton Mills site was withdrawn this week over complications surrounding the demolition of Wilton Mills but a revised application will be submitted in the next few weeks.

Commenting on this and giving assurances over the future of the clock tower, Mr Stevenson said: “ Wilton Mills Limited have today formally withdrawn the current application for redevelopment of 30 Commercial Road in Hawick following consultation with Scottish Borders Council executives.

“A revised application will be made in the next few weeks detailing the intended operator on site which will naturally be subject to an operable planning approval being granted.

“Further to the recent partial collapse of some of the buildings and their subsequent demolition the new scheme will incorporate demolition of the clock tower building. This follows various reports detailing the dangerous condition of the building and the uneconomic possibility of it being redeveloped.

“Every effort will be made to save the actual clock itself and find a suitable position of prominence within the town.”