Council refuses plans for McDonald’s on Moreton Hall

The proposed site in Symonds Road, Bury St Edmunds
The proposed site in Symonds Road, Bury St Edmunds
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A council has rejected plans for a fast food restaurant and ‘drive-thru’ on Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds.

The proposal to build a McDonald’s within the Dragonfly Hotel site in Symonds Road had attracted fierce opposition from councillors, residents and community groups, with Bury Town Council, the Moreton Hall Residents’ Association (MHRA) and Bury Society all objecting.

On Thursday, officers from St Edmundsbury Borough Council refused the application for reasons which included its contravention of numerous planning policies, that it would introduce a town centre use in an ‘out of town’ countryside location and because the area’s local plan had identified a ‘more appropriate and more sustainable’ site next to junction 45 of the A14.

Cliff Hind, MHRA chairman, said: “As far as I’m concerned, we’ve objected to this development ever since it was first proposed and we’ve really tried to work to stop it so I’m very happy that’s happened. My only reservations are that maybe McDonald’s will appeal.”

County councillor Trevor Beckwith said the ‘flawed’ application showed a ‘complete disregard for the area’ and the council officers’ assessment of it had been ‘pretty damning’.

Of the refusal, he said: “There were a hell of a lot of objections and they were fully justified. I think it’s great as long as they don’t win on appeal but I’d be surprised if they did – I can’t see how they can manoeuvre their way around all the reasons for refusal.”

McDonald’s failed to comment on whether an appeal was likely before press.