Blow to campaigners

May 30 2018

CAMPAIGNERS have failed in their eleventh-hour attempt to stop the development of a McDonald’s drive-through in Fishponds Road.

The Say No to McDonald’s in Fishponds (NoMacinF) group wrote to the then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, asking him to overturn the planning inspector’s decision to allow the two-storey restaurant in a former tile depot.

But Mr Javid, who was brought up in Stapleton Road, was promoted to Home Secretary before dealing with the letter, which was passed to the Planning Inspectorate. Its representative Ian Kane has now written to NoMacinF rejecting their request.

He said the inspector had acknowledged the significant local opposition to the proposed development and had taken account of objections raised during the eight-day public inquiry, held after the fast-food giant appealed against Bristol City Council’s refusal of planning permission.

Mr Kane wrote: “The allowing of the appeal does not mean that the concerns of local residents, the council or others opposing the scheme have been ignored.”

NoMacinF chairman Mike Jempson said:“It is disappointing that Mr Javid was promoted before he could deal with our concerns about the Planning inspector's decision to give McDonald's the go-ahead. We might have had a more sympathetic response given his local knowledge.

"His department passed it to the Customer Quality Office at the Planning Inspectorate, so it comes as no surprise that they have defended the decision of their own colleague. The justification is based on the undemocratic nature of the planning laws which give precedence to the desires of the developers over all other concerns. This makes a mockery of the Localism Act which was supposed to hand more power back to local communities. 

"McDonald's may feel they can now run roughshod over local concerns about traffic, safety, health and the environment, but we shall be making sure they keep to the letter and spirit of the 29 conditions laid down for this unwelcome development."