Massive effort to make case against fast food drive-thru

November 02 2016

DOZENS of Fishponds residents have spent the last few weeks preparing for the Public Inquiry into a plan for a two-storey McDonald's drive-through restaurant on the Fishponds Road.

DOZENS of Fishponds residents have spent the last few weeks preparing for the Public Inquiry into a plan for a two-storey McDonald's drive-through restaurant on the Fishponds Road.

The Say No to McDonald's In Fishponds campaigners thought they had achieved their aim when Bristol City Council turned down the multi-national's plan for the old Bristol Tile site early last year.

 McDonald's appealed against the council's decision and now a Government-appointed Planning Inspector will hear evidence from both sides at the Inquiry, which opens on November 8 and is expected to last for at least four days. 

Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy and local councillors will be giving evidence alongside city council planners and the Say No to McDonald's group, who have called in two experts on public health and nutrition. Dr Martin Caraher of London's City University and Dr Franklin Apfel of World Health Communication Associates will be challenging evidence from Dr Matt Capehorn of the Rotherham Institute for Obesity. 

"The Council's main objections are on traffic and road safety grounds," explained Mike Jempson, who now chairs the Say No Group. 

"We share those concerns, but we are also determined that the voices of the hundreds who raised objections on health, nutrition and pollution grounds are also heard at the inquiry."

The group has achieved 'Rule 6 status' which means it will be on an equal footing with the council and McDonald's at the Inquiry. 

"We have been meeting regularly to prepare our case," says Jempson. "We are drowning in paperwork, but it is great to see the effort that people have put in without the benefit of professional support." 

The inquiry is open to the public and anyone affected may ask to be heard. Jempson says that numerous locals have been in touch to say they want the Inspector to hear from them directly. 

The original protests against McDonald's plan galvanised local opinion and led to the creation of the Fishponds Planning group which also hopes to address the inquiry, and the highly successful Make Sunday Special event in September. 

 

• The inquiry will run from 10am to 5pm in the MShed on the Harbourside, from Tuesday 8 to Friday 11 November.