Gold Creek retailers opposed to a KFC restaurant being built at the shopping village say the development will "brand" the area as a fast-food precinct.
More than 1600 people signed a petition in protest of the fast-food restaurant planned for the corner of Curran Drive and O'Hanlon Place in Nicholls, which was tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Tuesday morning.
Greens politician Caroline Le Couteur said she backed the petition on planning and health grounds.
"From a planning point of view, the Gold Creek shopkeepers are concerned that the proposed development is not in keeping with the character of the village, which is home to several heritage buildings," Ms Le Couteur said.
"With six out of ten Canberrans overweight or obese, the community also cannot support this development from a health and wellbeing perspective. Amusingly, I've heard that students at Lyneham Primary refer to KFC as the 'Kids Fattening Centre', reflecting their understanding that fast food is not good food."
Carolyn Tozer of Carlee Children's Wear said she was also concerned about the outlet's proximity to two motels that catered for school groups as well as one current and one future childcare centre.
"Here we are talking about healthy eating in the ACT and they're looking at approving more junk food," Ms Tozer said.
Ms Le Couteur said she was also concerned about the employment and animal welfare record of KFC.
"In recent years, Four Corners reported that companies like KFC have suppliers that routinely abuse animals and exploit their migrant workforce – with people on 'working holidays' earning as little as $4 an hour," Ms Le Couteur said.
Lesley Christiansen from Bower Birds said, while she won't see the outlet from her shop, its presence would be "contrary to the vibe of the village".
"Gold Creek is a really unique area in the ACT, I use that word unique guardedly but there's nothing like it in the ACT and people come from all over the ACT for that character," Ms Christiansen said.
"KFC will be a really strong anchor building on that road and brand the village as a fast food precinct. That's exactly the opposite of what people come to Gold Creek for.
"People spend a couple of hours here having coffee, shopping and wandering around the attractions. A KFC is completely contrary to the vibe of the village."
Consultation on the development application closed earlier this month.
The application notes there is already a McDonalds and a service station on the other side of O'Hanlon Place.
While it acknowledges the site is "quite prominent" at the entry to the Gold Creek tourist area, it said the "visual prominence" would be mitigated by extra plants as well as existing street trees.
It said there would be a minor increase in the volume of traffic hearing southbound during peak times. The development was not expected to have a "discernable impact" on traffic operations.
"Southern Restaurants, on behalf of KFC, are seeking to develop a new site at Gold Creek (Nicholls) in response to assessed market demand from visitors and local residents for their products and are keen to start the development as soon as planning approvals are granted," the application says.
Nicholls residents have previously railed against the development of public housing in their suburb, despite the ACT government's "salt and pepper" approach.
Two years ago, residents told Fairfax Media a development of 14 public housing units would affect their safety and property prices.