Concerns raised over Chesterfield's planned new McDonald's

Concerns have been raised over how pedestrians and cyclists will access Chesterfield's proposed new McDonald's.

Wednesday, 8th May 2019, 12:38 pm
There are currently two McDonald's restaurants in Chesterfield.

Last month, the fast-food giant confirmed it had submitted a planning aplication to Chesterfield Borough Council for a two-storey restaurant and drive-thru at the site of the former multi-storey car park on West Bars.

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Responding to the application, Alastair Meikle, secretary of Chesterfield Cycle Campaign, said: "While having no objection in principle to this application the layout does not prioritise walking and cycling access; therefore we object to this application.

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"There appears to be no dedicated pedestrian access from West Bars into the restaurant site.

"This will almost certainly result in pedestrians having to 'dash' across the exit road.

"There is pedestrian access from Markham Road but because most footfall is along West Bars it is most unlikely that pedestrians will walk all the way round the site to use that.

"We can only presume that anyone arriving by cycle will have to negotiate the roundabout and enter the site from Markham Road too.

"Clearly very few cyclists will do that and like pedestrians will enter the site the wrong way on the exit road."

Lisa Hopkinson, of Transition Chesterfield, added: "This development by definition is designed for car access.

"There is poor walking and cycling access to the facility that might encourage people to visit by more environmentally-friendly means, contrary to the council's policies to encourage walking and cycling.

"We support the suggestions made by Chesterfield Cycle Campaign to provide shared space for walking and cycling nearer to the facility that connects to West Bars with dropped kerbs.

"This facility will also encourage people to drive through Chesterfield without stopping (when there is an existing McDonalds less than a mile away), which must undermine the town centre viability and vitality."

65 new jobs promised

In a transport statement submitted on behalf of McDonald's, ADL Traffic and Highways Engineering Ltd said: "There is a good provision of pedestrian accessibility to the site and therefore it can be concluded that the site is accessible by walking and cycling."

A McDonald's spokesperson told the Derbyshire Times: "We believe the new restaurant would bring significant investment to the local community as well as creating at least 65 new full and part-time jobs."

There are currently two McDonald's restaurants in Chesterfield - on Low Pavement and at the Alma Leisure Park.

The former multi-storey car park on West Bars was demolished in 2015.

It had not been in use since 2013.

The planning application will be considered by the council on a date yet to be determined.