After being the only county in England without a McDonald’s, Rutland has finally given the go-head to the golden arches.Councillors have approved plans to build a McDonald’s drive-thru on the outskirts of Oakham, Rutland’s main town, despite a planning application for the restaurant triggering 50 objections. Some residents claimed the “unsightly” development would increase litter,…
After being the only county in England without a McDonald’s, Rutland has finally given the go-head to the golden arches.
Councillors have approved plans to build a McDonald’s drive-thru on the outskirts of Oakham, Rutland’s main town, despite a planning application for the restaurant triggering 50 objections.
Some residents claimed the “unsightly” development would increase litter, impact other traders and undermine “The Rutland Brand”.
Others opposed to the drive-thru, which would create around 65 jobs, feared it would increase anti-social behaviour and devalue local houses.
A mother who attended a planning committee meeting on Tuesday said she opposed the plans “purely for who they are and what they stand for”.
However Edward Baines, the chair of Rutland County Council’s planning committee, said the issue was “one of land usage and not the grounds of the applicant”.
After an hour of debating, Rutland’s County Council’s planning committee approved the planning application on Tuesday evening.
The report, which said 23 submissions had been received in support of the application, states: “The design and layout of the proposal is appropriate in the area.
“Natural and neutral colours and materials will be used on the building and the size and design of the building would not have an adverse impact on the surrounding area or the amenities of nearby residential properties.
“The site represents an appropriate location for a drive-thru restaurant.”
In May last year, almost 400 people attended a consultation event in Oakham which was staged by McDonald’s.
Its plans to develop the “wasteland” site off Lands End Way include a 6.75 metre-high sign, odour control measures and patrols to collect litter in the local area.
Martin Cuthbert, the successful applicant who will become the manager of the franchise, said he was “confident now is the right time to open a restaurant” in the area.
He added that the fast food chain was “safe and family friendly” and that he was expecting it to attract customers from “both Oakham and passing traffic – and particularly people visiting Rutland Water”.
Oakham In Bloom’s chairman said the all-volunteer charity felt obliged to object the application on the terms the application had set out.
“In our opinion the landscaping would create a stark and ugly environment for people that would be incongruous with its surroundings,” it said, commenting on the original planning application.
“It would have a negative effect on the town. Such eye-sores, once built will be there for decades.”
McDonald’s has agreed to use stone on parts of the exterior of the new drive-thru in Oakham to achieve a “subtle natural feel” to the building.
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “We are delighted that the Rutland Planning Committee has approved our application for a new restaurant in Oakham.
“Over the last year, we carried out an extensive consultation process, speaking to local residents about our plans and have been heartened by the levels of support we have received.
“The new McDonald’s will create at least 65 new jobs for local people, and we’re excited about working alongside the local community.”