Opposition mounts to McDonald’s plan for Bury St Edmunds
Scores of objections have been raised and a petition set up in response to a proposal to build a fast food restaurant on a Bury St Edmunds estate.
Groups, residents and councillors have united in their opposition to a planning application which would see a drive-through McDonald’s restaurant built in Symonds Road, on Moreton Hall.
The site’s close proximity to a residential area and its potential to exacerbate the estate’s traffic problems, particularly at the Sainsbury’s roundabout in Bedingfeld Way, are among people’s main concerns.
Borough councillor Frank Warby has started a petition opposing the plans which has received more than 100 signatures in its first week.
He said: “It’s proving very unpopular – I’ve had numerous phone calls and emails from people saying ‘please help us’, ‘don’t let this monstrosity go in our area’, ‘it’ll be horrendous for traffic’.”
County councillor Trevor Beckwith’s main objection to the site is its location on the residential side of Bedingfeld Way.
“The only non-housing use on that side of the divide is centred at Lawson Place but everything there is associated with supporting the estate,” he said, adding that examples of existing McDonald’s sites used in the Bury application are not comparable to Symonds Road in terms of traffic impact.
The Moreton Hall Residents’ Association has stated that the effect from the planned Eastern Relief Road would be lost if the build goes ahead, and has raised concerns over traffic, noise, light and litter pollution as well as safety.
Bury Town Council has also objected while the Bury Society says the plans have generated an ‘extremely high level of concern’ and it is ‘not convinced’ the site is the right place for a restaurant catering mainly for passing trade on a major regional highway.
In his objection, Ian Nurcombe, of Oswyn Close, states: “The facility is designed to attract those using the A14. As it does this, it will attract an unacceptable volume of traffic onto a small road that not only leads to Sainsbury’s supermarket, but then on to an even smaller road that leads to Moreton Hall residential area.
“It is well documented that Sainsbury’s roundabout is a real bottleneck already, and it regularly leads to gridlock, with traffic queuing back along Symonds Road, way beyond the proposed entry/exit to the proposed development.”
Heldhaw Road resident Joyce Kirk has written to the borough council to ‘protest most strongly’ against the plans.
She states that the proposed site is ‘totally unsuitable’ because Symonds Road is a residential area and is situated near the Bedingfeld Way roundabout which is ‘already saturated with traffic which is going to get much worse, very soon, with the addition of many more houses and a new secondary school’.
In her objection, Mrs Gilbert, of Wilbye Close, says: “The proposed development will be built at an already heavily congested roundabout. The increased level of traffic at this site by those wishing to use the McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru will add noise and pollution to an already existing bottle neck problem.”
A number of alternative sites have been proposed nearby, including the new link road off the A14, the Westley roundabout and an empty space in Mildenhall Road.
To view the plans in full, go to www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/planning and search DC/16/1324/FUL. Anyone wishing to comment on the application will need to do so before Monday (September 5).