Chorley to get new McDonald's drive-through
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The fast food operator has secured permission for a second 24-hour outlet in the borough, in the car park of the Tesco store on Foxhole Road near Astley Village. It says it will be a locally-run franchise which will create 65 new jobs.
Chorley Council’s planning committee gave the green light to the proposal, but members were served up a menu of concerns from residents - and some of their own number.
Thirty-eight objections were received to the plans, with worries over noise and the impact on nearby roads being chief among them.
Committee member Danny Gee said the roundabout at the junction of West Way and Southport Road was already “horrendous” during morning rush hour - and called for McDonald’s to be asked to stump up the cash for safety improvements.
“You start walking across [the road] and a car comes shooting around the roundabout - and you have to run,” said Cllr Gee.
He added that the A581 was a walk-to-school route which saw hundreds of youngsters travelling on foot from Euxton to Parklands School every day.
Highways officials from Lancashire County Council accepted that the drive-through would cause the capacities of the roundabout and the gyratory at Foxhole Road and Southport Road to be “further exceeded” than they were already forecast to be by 2024.
However, County Hall was satisfied with a £6,000 contribution from the company towards a travel plan to encourage sustainable journeys to the site - and for McDonald's to pay for a new raised crossing at an existing pedestrian and cycle entrance to the store, along with several sets of dropped kerbs and bus stop upgrades in the vicinity.
Cllr Aaron Beaver said that although people would have to be “on something” to think that traffic would not be a problem, he hoped it would at least relieve the pressure on roads close to the popular town centre drive-through on the A6 Clifford Street, which is not currently open around the clock durign the pandemic restrictuins.
However, local resident Yvonne Curwen feared that the two restaurants would not just share patrons, but problems.
“The antisocial behaviour that has been witnessed at McDonald's in Chorley would merely be moved to Tesco - and it could lead to joyriding on [the roads] and the car park late at night.
“There is a police presence in Chorley town centre that we wouldn't have the benefit of in Astley Village,” Ms. Curwen warned.
Cllr Alistair Morwood said fast food applications were always “contentious”, but that any noise would not be worse than that coming from Tesco’s car park when it was at its fullest.
The nearest properties are around 100 metres away from the development.
Tesco representative Andrew Crewther said their presence would be “complementary” to the supermarket site - and pledged to support the community and not allow the area to become unsightly.
“We work hard to ensure the areas around our restaurants are litter-free. Along with a number of national initiatives, we recently launched 'Get In The Bin', a social media campaign encouraging customers to dispose of packaging responsibly.
“Staff at all our restaurants carry out a minimum of three daily letter picks in the immediate area - not only picking up McDonald's packaging, but all litter,” Mr. Crewther added.
The meeting heard that an application for signage would be formally submitted once planning permission had been granted - but Cllr Beaver warned that he would not want to see a “dirty great big ‘M’ stuck on a dirty great big pole”.
The restaurant will be located just to the left of the existing access to the supermarket, opposite the petrol station. It will swallow up 60 of the existing 441 Tesco parking spaces, but the combined supermarket and restaurant car parks will still have capacity for 420 vehicles.