A CATALOGUE of reasons why Crediton Town Council should object to a plan for a McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru on the edge of the town near Wellparks roundabout was listed at a meeting of Crediton Town Council Planning and Town Strategy committee on Tuesday, July 4.
Top of the list was the proximity to historic properties, Wellparks and Downes, the Lodge and historic parkland.
It was explained that the planned restaurant and drive-thru would have an impact on the setting of these properties, and that it had an open field on one side.
In listing some of the objections, the committee chair, Cllr Liz Brookes-Hocking, the Mayor of Crediton, said that the application was not suitable at the historic gateway to the town.
She spoke of the “piecemeal development on that side of town”, saying that the application would further “deteriorate the valley setting”, one which the council tried to defend.
She explained that the plan would “generate more traffic” and “create destinations where people drive by car”.
She said if approved it would be “generating unsustainability”.
Other reasons she listed included unskilled jobs, money generated going out of county and possibly out of country and the impact on local businesses.
She said that there were major issues with the lighting plans and said: “You can’t make sense of the lighting plan document.”
She added that the lighting would affect the residents of Tarka View.
When questioned about Mole Avon lighting, she said: “We should be looking again at that. It is not suitable for the environment.”
Mrs Brookes-Hocking commented on the ecology and the disruption to it, bats, biodiversity, removal of vegetation and lack of trees to the south side and east side. She asked what was the point of bat boxes for foraging when the foraging land had been removed.
She also said that the buffer was not suitable and with regard to hedge height, wanted to know if they would be chopped down low making them unsuitable for wildlife.
She advised that the documents submitted with the plan be circulated to more experienced personnel.
Mrs Brookes-Hocking said that the development was not in keeping or sympathetic with anything in the area, adding that the big yellow “M” on the side of the building was “inappropriate”.
She also questioned the design of the elevations.
Cllr Brookes-Hocking said that it was not right for Crediton for it to be open 24/7, adding that there was no other restaurant or drive-thru like that in the town.
She added: “I want local district councillors to look at all the policies.
“It is about the type of town we want to see.”
Cllr Natalia Letch said that it would look better if the restaurant was built in red brick as other buildings in the area and similar to Wellparks.
Cllr Letch also said that there should be a small town businesses impact survey as part of the planning process.
In addition, with relation to highways issues, she said that the vehicles leaving the site should be forced to turn left to travel around the Tesco roundabout and not turn right.
Cllr Brookes-Hocking said: “It is not the right place for this type of restaurant.
“It was supposed to be employment land, it has all gone to retail.
“I object on planning grounds and that we send our comments to the planning officer.
“If the officer is minded to approve I will ask our ward member to call it in.”
Cllr Cochran said that there had been discussion on if the objections would be enough to stop it, adding that a lot of people have already said they want it.
“I understand, however, there is already a petition against it,” he added.
Cllr Joyce Harris said: “It is in the wrong place, won’t help Crediton and is on a main road coming into Crediton. I am not against it coming to this edge of town, it needs to be in the right place.
Cllr Giles Fawsett said: “This is an appalling application and it should be rejected, adding: “I second Cllr Brookes-Hocking’s proposal.
Four councillors voted for Cllr Brookes-Hocking’s proposal of objection.
There were no votes against the proposal.
Four abstentions were made and the councillors asked that their abstentions be recorded. They were Cllrs Cairney, Huxtable, Natalia Letch and Cochran.
Cllr Cochran said that the planning officers will make a recommendation for the July 14 meeting at Mid Devon District Council.
CREDITON HAMLETS RECOMMEND APPROVAL
While Crediton Town Council objected to the plan, Crediton Hamlets Parish Council has agreed to support the planning application from McDonald’s Restaurants Limited for a restaurant with a drive-thru, car parking, landscaping and associated works on Joseph Locke Way at Crediton.
In supporting, it suggested that the district council put in a “no right turn” so that traffic exiting from McDonald’s and Mole Avon on the shared road had to turn left to go round the little roundabout before heading for the main road.
Reasons for supporting were the prospect of more employment and the biodiversity in planting more trees.
• What do you think about the Town and Hamlets councillors views about the McDonald’s plan for the edge of Crediton?
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