A FAST food chain has remained tight-lipped over rumoured plans to open a drive-through restaurant in Hexham.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is understood to have included the town on a list of 20 new North-East locations for restaurants it hopes to open over the next few years.

A possible location for a new restaurant is the former Bunker site on Alemouth Road in Hexham.

Earlier this year, plans for up to 60 new jobs were announced as part of a multi-million pound retail complex on the site.

Newcastle-based Union Property Services submitted a planning application for a Lidl supermarket, a four-storey Travelodge hotel and 250 public car parking spaces on the site.

The application also requested outline planning permission for two further retail units, believed to be earmarked for national restaurant chains.

Elsewhere in Tynedale, MCR Property Group plan to rejuvenate the dilapidated land at the Hadrian Enterprise Park in Haltwhistle, and have sought outline permission for 79 homes, a petrol station, two drive-through restaurants and a two-storey hotel.

And an application for a retail park in Low Prudhoe, on land south of Princess Way, was recently unanimously approved by councillors on Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee.

The approval will allow construction to begin on the first phase of the development, and details submitted by the applicant, Northumberland Estates, have already shown that KFC, B&M and Aldi have shown an interest in taking up some of the retail space.

The list of 20 new KFC locations is also believed to include the towns of Berwick and Morpeth.

A KFC spokeswoman said: "We always have a list of areas where we’re on the lookout for new restaurants.

"We know there’s loads of chicken lovers out there waiting patiently for the Colonel to arrive in their town so watch this space!"