PLANS to open a new drive-though restaurant at a former Pizza Hut which closed last year have been given the go ahead.

It will mean Canadian brand Tim Hortons, which is known for its coffee and baked goods, can turn the site at Birstall into a restaurant and drive-through.

It would become the company’s second site in Yorkshire, with a restaurant already planned for Sheffield.

A spokesman for the firm said it was unable to comment on the Junction 27 retail park site at the moment, so it is not known at this stage when work could start and when it will open its doors to the public.

Physical changes include painting the external brickwork of the building black, and using brown and cream cladding to create a “parapet style” roof, as well as a two vehicle drive through lane. There will also be new signage.

Planning officers found that although the development would “significantly alter the appearance of the building”, the neighbouring units in the retail park varied in scale, character and appearance, therefore the impact was considered acceptable.

There were three letters against the plans and one in support.

The company itself was founded in 1974 in Ontario and has grown to have over 4,500 stores. The first UK store opened in 2017 and there are now 27 outlets with more opening soon.

It is affectionately known as Timmy’s and serves a variety of food and drinks, including toasted bagels and wraps.

The application to Kirklees Council planners stated: “Tim Hortons will operate in much the same way as Pizza Hut has on this site for approximately 30 years, offering restaurant facilities with a take-away option.

“The occupation of the unit by Tim Hortons will therefore not result in a material change of use of the premises.”

The application also said it seeks to “improve consumer choice” by providing a drive-through facility for those who wish to purchase food and drink to take away.

It said: “The restaurant will operate in a similar way to existing coffee shops and restaurants with drive-thru facilities, although, the nature of the Tim Hortons offer means the business and usage is not directly comparable to that of any of the existing UK coffee shop or restaurant operators.”

It concluded: “The introduction of the drive-thru lane will provide customers with a choice of either ‘eating in’ or allowing them the convenience of using the drive-thru facility, an option that is popular with customers and is now provided by a wide range of food and beverage operators.

“The proposal does not result in any adverse impacts in terms of highways, transport or parking, nor does it impact on residential amenity.”

It said the proposal will bring an empty unit back into use, make improvements to its external appearance “and will provide the more modern facilities now expected by the public”.

The application added: “It will also bring about much needed investment during the construction phase and upon occupation of the unit by Tim Hortons and local employment opportunities will be created.”

Pizza Hut closed down on December 30. At the time, the company said the closure was “beyond our control” and it was trying to redeploy staff.