New Five Guys restaurant coming to Winnersh as Wokingham Borough Council approves plans


A new Five Guys restaurant will be coming to the area after plans were given the green light by Wokingham Borough Council. The plan, which was approved this week, will see a new branch of the popular US food chain built at the site of the Showcase Cinema in Winnersh.

A pre-application for a standalone restaurant was approved in 2020, but the revised application will mean the restaurant will be set further back into the site following land ownership discussions between Highways England and Showcase Cinema. The application site comprises of a triangular piece of land within the cinema area, which is currently used for advertising, car parking and landscaping. The new proposal will involve the erection of the restaurant building, with an outside seating area and allocated parking spaces.

The construction will result in the redevelopment of an area of existing car parking and landscaping, with 56 parking spaces removed from within the main car park area – whilst retaining 579 spaces for cinema customers.

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The restaurant will be a one storey, 255sqm building and replicate some of the design elements of the Showcase Cinema, such as the tiered appearance of the structure. Winnersh Parish Council had raised concerns about, and objected to, the application when it was last submitted on grounds which included the location’s risk of flooding.

However, this was mitigated by a Flood Risk Assessment conducted in January of this year which concluded that the proposed development is considered suitable for development, as there will be no negative impact on the flood plain, flow paths or flood storage volumes. It stated that “we see no reason why the proposal should be refused on the grounds of flooding.”

The Winnersh triangle site has been prone to flooding – most notably in 2009 and 2014 – however, the proposed location has a 0.1 to 1 per cent chance of flooding, according to Lanmor Consulting, who carried out the Flood Risk Assessment. The new restaurant, renowned for selling burgers, hotdogs and french fries, will also see the employment of 20 part-time and 20 full-time members of staff.

The restaurant chain, headquartered in Lorton, Virginia, was founded in 1986 by Janie and Jerry Murrell. Jerry, alongside the couple’s four sons, Jim, Matt, Chad, and Ben, were the original “Five Guys.” The couple later had a fifth son – all ‘five guys’ are currently involved in the business. Five Guys first opened in the UK in July 2013 in Covent Garden. Since then, the company has expanded to include 148 outlets operating in the UK – the nearest being situated at The Oracle in Reading. It is not yet known when the restaurant will be open to the public.





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