Hundreds of people have backed an online petition against a planned fast-food restaurant in one of Wollongong’s northern suburbs, ahead of community protest later this week.
Petitioners say a proposed 24/7 KFC outlet at Bulli would “detract from the unique character of the area”, increase street litter, threaten nearby businesses and create “foul” air quality.
Supermarket giant Woolworths has lodged a development application (DA) with Wollongong City Council to include the KFC as part of an upsized shopping precinct.
The centre – on the Princes Highway/Molloy Street corner – already features a Woolworths supermarket, Caltex-Woolworths service station and specialty stores.
News of the KFC plan was met with mixed community reaction. “4am wicked wings, what a time to be alive,” one Mercury Facebook follower said.
However, not everyone was impressed by the potential fried chicken offering.
Among those against the plan was Bulli resident Belinda Braid, who started a change.org petition “No KFC at Bulli”.
The petition has received more than 320 online signatures in two weeks.
“There is an [sic] significant amount of traffic congestion at present and this will exacerbate the issue into bloody mayhem,” Ms Braid’s petition said.
A separate “No to KFC in Bulli” Facebook page has also been set-up, calling on the council to “stop the Bulli KFC” and to “start making a long term plan for Bulli”.
Supporters of the page – which is administered by the Bulli Village Alliance (BVA) – have been urged to make a comment as part of the DA’s public consultation process, which ends on January 20.
“Bulli is an area of unique natural beauty and strong heritage values,” BVA member and long-time resident Amanda Peacock said.
”Opening a 24 [hour] fast food restaurant in our village will destroy these assets and bring significantly more traffic congestion, litter, smell, ugly signage and strip lighting. It will be an eyesore and a threat to local businesses.”
An eight-metre-high Colonel’s bucket would be among the signage erected.
Woolworths said the new KFC, which would be about 275 square metres in size and seat up to 66 people, was “considered appropriate”.
“No significant impacts are envisaged to occur upon the amenity of surrounding properties,” the DA said.
A community meeting, protesting the KFC plan, will be held at the Bulli Senior Citizens’ Centre, on Hospital Road, at 6pm on Friday.