KFC has unveiled plans to set up a new restaurant in Billericay High Street, replacing a former betting shop.

The fried chicken chain has submitted plans to convert the former Coral at 126 High Street.

Drawings show the restaurant area would be at the front of the building, with a kitchen and storage space behind.

Self-service kiosks and a large seating area would be installed, with KFC potentially adding to popular eateries in the high street including Giggling Squid and La Toscana.

The chain previously stated it was looking to open a drive-thru restaurant to Billericay.

Mike Andrews, vice chair of the Billericay Residents Association, said: “We do seem to already have quite a few food outlets on the high street.

“We’ve got a couple of pubs, Pasha which is the Turkish, a number of coffee shops, and some pizza places like ASK Italian and Prezzo.

“We are getting a reputation as an eating place. Although that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Assuming it’s going to be open in the day, there’s already an issue with parking. When you have a takeaway type restaurant too, you’ve got to park while you’re collecting.”

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Basildon Council is set to decide on the application later this year.

The nearest KFCs to Billericay are in Basildon, Laindon and Brentwood.

David Dadds, councillor for Billericay East, said: “My view is that the high street is changing, we had Wimpy and also a number of different food outlets.

“There are a lot of food establishments already there, so we’ve got to be careful not to oversupply with them.

“It’s about having the right balance.

“I’m also happy to see that shops aren’t being just left vacant, but we have to make sure what goes there is appropriate.

“Just as long as it’s not causing a public nuisance and the times which they operate are sensible and reasonable.

“That being said, it does go to show there is investment in the town, KFC is a big name brand.”