Nando’s planning to launch first restaurant in Hartlepool by transforming former Frankie & Benny's site

Nando’s the popular chicken restaurant chain is planning to come to Hartlepool by moving into the former Frankie & Benny’s diner.

By Mark Payne
Sunday, 11 August, 2019, 16:45

Nando’s has submitted an application to planning chiefs at Hartlepool Borough Council to make alterations to the unit on the town’s Anchor Retail Park off Marina Way.

It has been empty since Frankie & Benny’s New York style diner closed last September.

Nando’s are well-liked for their Afro Portuguese flame-grilled peri-peri chicken and have scores of restaurants all over the country.

The former Frankie & Benny's outlet at Marina Way, Hartlepool, which Nando's hopes to take over.

The nearest to Hartlepool are currently in Middlesbrough and at Teesside Park.

Planning documents submitted by Nando’s in support of the planning application state the plans “represent an opportunity to establish a piece of landmark architecture”.

Proposed alterations include new glazing, cladding and Corten panelling, together with outside seating and new signs.

The planning document said of the unit currently: “The facades consist of light grey horizontal metal cladding with dark grey pillars and are largely uninspiring and in need of investment.”

A Nando's peri-peri chicken platter. (Kris Kirkham)

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Alterations to the outside include full height frameless glazing to the west side, reclaimed timber cladding, corrugated ‘Corten’ rusted steel panels and hand-painted artwork panels.

Nando’s says the proposals are in line with national planning policies and those of the Hartlepool Local Plan, including to diversify, support and protect the retail and leisure park.

The planning document adds: “The submitted plans demonstrate that the proposed external alterations to all elevations will transform the building into a unique, attractive and inviting restaurant with active frontages.

“The proposed external alterations will result in an updated and modernised unit adding interest and vitality to the wider retail and leisure park, which currently presents limited architectural merit.

Nando's cockrill logo.

“The proposals demonstrate that the alterations would not compromise the existing character of the area and indeed will enhance it significantly.

“As such, Nando’s investment into the external appearance of the unit, which of course carries on through the interior, is considered to comply with the identified planning policies, and should be supported.

“It will facilitate occupation of this large vacant restaurant by Nando’s and ensure a vibrant occupant for the future.”

According to its website, the council aims to make a decision by September 27.