Antisocial behaviour fears over plans for new McDonald’s outlet

Posted on - 13th April, 2024 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Redevelopment, Restaurants in Preston, Roads, Transport
Former Beaumont pub
Former Beaumont pub

McDonald’s has moved to reassure residents living close to a proposed new branch – after the majority of people who responded to a public consultation objected to the plans.

The fast food chain is seeking permission to build a new outlet on the site of the disused Beaumont pub in Clayton-le-Woods, alongside the suburb’s Asda supermarket.

McDonald’s announced its intentions back in January – when it also launched the consultation – and has now submitted a planning application to Chorley Council.

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The documentation lodged with the authority reveals that 61 percent of the 464 responses received were against the proposal for the Woodale Road site – with concerns including the likelihood of the development causing antisocial behaviour and its potential impact on the roads.

A quarter of respondents were in favour of the scheme, while a further 11 percent supported it, but “with reservations”.

Plans for McDonald's in Clayton-le-Woods
Plans for McDonald’s in Clayton-le-Woods

One local said that the McDonald’s branches in Chorley and Leyland town centres were “known for having issues with [antisocial behaviour] and I worry this will ruin a quiet community.”

Another stated that as Clayton-le-Woods has a large population of older residents, the creation of a McDonald’s would attract “too many younger people” to the area.

A respondent also claimed that the inclusion of a drive-thru facility would make it “impossible” to get to Asda, neighbouring businesses and the restaurant itself as a result of the number of cars that would be queuing up to place their orders.

In a community consultation statement submitted with its application, McDonald’s said that it “enjoys a good relationship with local police forces and works in partnership with them to mitigate any issues of antisocial behaviour in the communities [we] operate in”.

“Comprehensive training is provided for staff on how to manage the behaviour of customers,” the document added.

 It was also highlighted that it is the company’s policy to carry out at least three daily litter patrols per day, during which employees gather not only McDonald’s packaging, but also any other litter that may have been discarded within a 150-metre vicinity of one of its restaurants.

The firm notes that around two thirds of its staff are aged between 16-25, meaning new branches provide local young people with job opportunities.  It is expected a total of 60 full-time-equivalent jobs would be created overall by the Clayton-le-Woods outlet, which would be operated by a local franchisee.

Responding to road-related concerns, McDoanld’s said that the drive-thru would have capacity for 20 vehicles, which is “considered sufficient to meet demand”. There would also be 43 parking spaces on the site, which would be accessed from Woodale Road, like the now abandoned pub had been.

The company said junction modelling had shown that there is “sufficient capacity” on the local road network to accommodate the additional demand McDonald’s would generate.

It added that its proposal would bring a “prominent site” back into use and encourage trips that would benefit other businesses in the Clayton Green district centre.

Those in support of the scheme welcomed the pub plot finally being regenerated, with one saying: “The site has been empty for too long and I would appreciate a McDonald’s closer to where I live.”

Public comments about the plans can now be made to Chorley Council until 23rd April.

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