Dundee could be set to gain a new drive-through coffee shop and fast food outlet – and up to 60 jobs – under new plans for Riverside Avenue.
Eat and Drive Ltd has unveiled plans to build a new Starbucks and a Burger King on land south of Riverside Avenue, adjacent to the roundabout linking it and Riverside Drive.
The site is just to the west of Dundee Airport, north-east of the city’s Amazon distribution centre, and directly opposite the existing Riverside Inn pub and grill.
If approved, the completed eateries would be the city’s second drive-through Burger King – and its fourth roadside Starbucks after the approved Afton Way site.
In a planning statement included with its application, Eat and Drive’s agents GVD says there has been “no interest in developing (the) relatively small site” for its intended purpose, despite others publicly stating their intention to do so in the past.
It has asked council officers to consider granting the application so the chains can be used by the working populations of the Dundee Technology Park, Ninewells Hospital and Dundee Airport.
“The proposed development of two drive thru restaurants could be seen to
complement and support the many employment uses nearby, as well as providing further
employment once constructed and operational,” the firm said.
“Between both Burger King and Starbucks, it is anticipated that approximately 50-60 new jobs could be created as a result of this proposal.”
Dundee City Council has designated the land as a “principal economic development area”, which could put paid to the plans as they would not fall under the criteria for approval.
However, council officers could approve the plans if they deem them to be an overwhelmingly positive contribution to the city.
In order to alleviate potential concerns over gridlock in the area on an already crowded Riverside Drive, the applicants have recruited a consultancy firm to assess the impact the development would have on traffic.
Experts at Cundall believe only half of the journeys to the site, which will have 55 parking spaces, will be made by private vehicle, with many others made on foot or bicycle.
Riverside Drive is well-provided for with shared-use pavements for pedestrians and cyclists.
However, the closest bus stops are up to 10 minutes’ walk away on Perth Road, serving the 9/10 and 39/39A/B services.
Planners have until April 9 to consider the plans under delegated powers – but the proposals are expected to be referred to the elected planning committee given their significance.
The Riverside Avenue site has been subject to two proposals to build a hotel in the last two decades.
Site owners Hanna and Strachan Ltd – still listed as the owners of the site on official records – had proposed a 60-bed hotel with a restaurant in 2006.
That plan was initially refused but overturned on appeal. An application by the same firm to build a 102-room hotel in 2010 was refused.
A later application to extend permission for the 60-bed development was granted in 2012, but never acted upon.
The rise of Dundee’s drive-throughs
The proposals to build a Burger King and a Starbucks at Riverside Avenue are the latest in a series of plans for roadside eateries along Dundee’s arterial routes.
There have long been drive-through takeaways such as McDonalds, Burger King and KFC lining the city’s main road, but Starbucks became the first coffee chain to open a drive-through in the city in June 2018 at Myrekirk.
Last year, a second Starbucks opened at Dunsinane Industrial Estate, alongside a Dominos pizza takeaway and a drive-through Greggs bakery.
Elsewhere, planning approvals are in place for a third Starbucks at Afton Way, beside Morrisons, and a Costa Coffee drive-through at the new Kingsway East retail development that will also host a new Lidl.
However, local firms are also getting in on the roadside takeaway action.
Clark’s Bakery had plans approved in June last year for its Myrekirk proposal – despite planners warning that the business could have a detrimental effect on local high streets.
But unlike the coffee shops, the bakery won’t have a drive-through facility.