Councillors refuse plans for new McDonald's in Chesterfield
Councillors have thrown out controversial proposals for a new McDonald’s in Chesterfield.
In May, the fast-food giant submitted a planning application 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.
Planning officers had recommended that the application be given conditional permission.
However, the council’s planning committee met on Monday and refused the application.
Councillor Ian Callan, the council's planning committee chair, said: “The McDonald’s application was refused by the planning committee against the recommendation of council officers.
“The committee were concerned on three grounds: the highways impact of the proposal on operation at West Bars roundabout, the creation of litter in the area, and the impact on health and wellbeing arising from the fast food outlet.”
During the public consultation phase, Chesterfield Cycle Campaign and Transition Chesterfield raised concerns that cyclists would have to negotiate the ‘dangerous’ West Bars roundabout in order to get to the site.
In addition, residents expressed fears about an increase in traffic as well as a rise in smells and litter.
The planning officers’ report which was considered by councillors stated: “There is nothing preventing a cyclist from dismounting at West Bars and walking into the site using the pedestrian crossing provided if they do not wish to cycle around West Bars and enter from Markham Road.
“It is considered that a development of the scale and nature proposed would be unlikely to generate additional traffic to significantly impact on capacity of the existing local highway network.
“The council’s Environmental Health Officer did not raise any specific concerns or comments about odour or litter.
“It is therefore assumed that the proposals are acceptable to them in this regard.”
When the planning application was submitted, 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.”
McDonald’s will have the option to appeal the council’s decision to refuse the planning application.
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.