BODMIN could be set for a jobs boost after work finally started on the development of the town's KFC fast food outlet – five years after it was first given permission.
The development is the first phase of a multimillion-pound retail park which could bring more than 100 jobs to the town. The restaurant and drive-through is being built in the empty field next to the Callywith restaurant on Launceston Road.
It will include two car washes and a small food kiosk which will oversee their running.
The £1 million project is expected to create up to 30 jobs and developers are aiming for a late February/early March 2014 opening.
Work on phase two is expected to begin next summer and includes plans for six retail units which will create up to 75 additional full and part-time jobs.
The development was first approved by North Cornwall District Council in December 2008, with work scheduled to begin months later in time for a Christmas 2009 opening.
A condition was placed on the application that the company behind the proposals, Walker Developments of Newquay, had to provide a new roundabout before work could begin. This proved too costly and the development was delayed while an alternative proposal was considered.
New proposals will see the speed limit along the A30 exit to ASDA stretch of Launceston Road reduced from 60mph to 40mph, and the filter lane allowing cars to drive at speed into Cooksland Road will be shortened so cars coming out of the road are not blinded.
Walker Developments' Damien Burley said that the town council and Cornwall Council have been supportive in helping to try and make the scheme happen.
"The new investment and jobs can only be a good thing for Bodmin," Mr Burley said. "We hope to be able to begin work on phase two in the middle of next year to complete the overall development."
Lance Kennedy, who was the Cornwall councillor for the area in question, said he had always supported the plan for the new restaurant and was particularly pleased the road improvements had been incorporated into the consent.
"I had my first meeting with YUM, the parent company of KFC, in January 2009, and I believe the building will be a pointer to the future of things to come for the town," Mr Kennedy said.
"I hope this is the start of bigger firms wanting to come to Bodmin and will lead to them wanting to be a part of the planned retail park."
Mr Kennedy is also pleased that an agreement has been reached for the junction improvements.
"The junction improvements form an important part of the overall plan and it will now be a lot safer. Another bonus will, of course, be the jobs, so I hope this is the start of an exciting future for Bodmin."