CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after plans for a drive-through KFC were unanimously thrown out for the third time.

Basildon Council’s planning committee went against the recommendation of officers and refused the scheme for the former Laindon Hotel site in Laindon High Road.

Fifteen residents and councillors took to the stand during a heated meeting at the Basildon Centre to urge the cross-party committee to listen to their concerns about noise, traffic, litter and disruption.

Campaigners had handed in a 474 signature petition to the council, and another 112 individual objections were submitted.

Samantha Marsh, of Little Oxcroft, said: “I am so proud of everyone for turning up as a community and standing up for what they think is right. It was very humbling.

“Our victory proves what people power can do. We all thought it was going to get through.”

Around 50 residents packed the meeting room, and cheered with delight as the committee agreed the plans were of poor design, not in-keeping with the appearance of the residential area, and were damaging to aspirations to boost Laindon.

Laindon Holdings applied for a 24-hour KFC at the beginning of 2012, but the development was refused following a string of objections.

The proposals resurfaced in November 2012 with revised opening times, and an appeal was lodged after they were turned down again.

In May last year planning inspector Isobel McCretton upheld the council’s decision on the grounds the design and appearance of the restaurant were not suitable for the residential area.

Laindon Holdings then increased the height of the building and opted for a traditional brick design in their latest application, and campaigners believe the firmwill be back with an appeal soon.

Bob Taylor, 65, of Bedford Road, said: “Laindon Holdings will be back with an appeal, so we are just making the most of the break while it lasts.

“The support has been amazing, and I just hope as many residents turn out again next time.”

John Dornan, Tory councillor for Laindon Park, added: “I am urging Laindon Holdings to think before they appeal, and ask themselves whether this is what they really want for Laindon.”