A PLAN to install a 'dark kitchen' at an empty Kingfisher Shopping Centre unit has been approved by the council's Planning Committee.

'Dark kitchens' are used to prepare hot food for delivery services only - so takeaway customers cannot pick their orders up from the site.

According to the plan, the kitchen will be used by companies such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and Just-Eat, who would then deliver food orders to customers in Redditch.

Members of Redditch Borough Council's Planning Committee voted to approve the plan at a meeting on Wednesday (February 10).

The application site is part of the unit formerly occupied by Marks and Spencer - the former food hall which is now vacant.

The retailer Next will be re-locating to the vacant unit in Spring 2021 and the ground floor will be operated by grocery food outlet ‘Simply Fresh,’ which will have its own café.

The first floor ‘dark kitchen’ will provide catering support during trading hours to the ground floor café restaurant within Simply Fresh.

Out of shopping centre trading hours, the kitchen will continue to function as a home delivery service. Food would be prepared at the kitchen and delivered to customers who have ordered food via phone or online.

The kitchen will be active between the hours of 7am to 4am and there would be no on-site collection facility. During Simply Fresh trading hours, the 'dark kitchen' will provide catering support to the ground floor Simply Fresh café.