McDonald's Inquiry delayed until April

December 05 2016

THE Planning Inquiry into McDonald's appeal against Bristol City Council's decision to reject plans for a huge drivethrough restaurant on the

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THE Planning Inquiry into McDonald's appeal against Bristol City Council's decision to reject plans for a huge drivethrough restaurant on the

busy Fishponds Road has been adjourned until April 2017 with no evidence being heard.

The barrister acting for the multi-national company was taken ill the night before the appeal started on Tuesday November 8. James Pereira was still out of action when the inquiry resumed the next day, when McDonald's indicated that the appeal could last as long as eight days rather than the four days originally scheduled.

The planning inspector Martin Whitehead proposed that hearings restart on Monday December 5, but local residents from the Say No to McDonald's in Fishponds (NoMacInF) group objected on the grounds that most of their key witnesses could not be available.

As the group has won 'Rule 6' status, putting it on an equal footing with McDonald's and the city council, the Inspector rescheduled the Inquiry to take place over six days from Thursday April 20, 2017. No venue has yet been set.

"It has all been really inconvenient for us," said NoMacInF group chairman Mike Jempson.

"We were all geared up to go in November having spent months preparing for the Inquiry. People had given up work to be present. Even Kerry McCarthy MP's time was wasted when she turned up to give evidence. Now we have to start all over again."

Bristol City Council rejected McDonald's plan for the former tile warehouse in February last year for traffic and road safety reasons. Local residents are also concerned about health and environmental issues and had waged an eight-month campaign against the proposals leading up to the decision.

The principal of Bristol Metropolitan Academy Sally Apps and some students were among those who expressed concerns.

McDonald's announced in August last year that it would appeal.

It said the two-storey restaurant would be open from 6am to 11pm, not for 24 hours a day, and would create jobs for people from the area.