Latest disagreement in Market Drayton McDonald's saga
A town councillor has said he "can't understand" comments by a prominent building expert that the proposed placement of a McDonald's in the town would not help its image.
Michael Foy OBE, current vice president and future president of the Chartered Institute of Building, raised concerns about McDonald's' plans to set up a restaurant on the roundabout connecting the A53 and Shrewsbury Road in the west of the town.
In December Mr Foy wrote to Shropshire Council and said that though he would be "first to accept" that the town should welcome a business bringing jobs, he had reservations about the restaurant chain's proposed location at the western edge of the town.
He said a McDonald's there would "not project the image that the town requires" to visitors and warned: "The first thing that anyone driving along the A53 from the west will be presented with will be the bright advertising lights of McDonald's."
'Agree to disagree'
Councillor Roy Aldcroft said that he did not agree with Mr Foy and felt that the Tern Valley Business Park and the Müller plant, also along Shrewsbury Road, already constitute an industrial gateway to the town.
He said: "That end of town is industrial as it is. I can't understand where he is coming from. I think we will have to agree to disagree.
"One other thing I have noticed across the country is that McDonald's keep their sites nice and tidy."
The town council has formally backed the American chain's proposal although it remains embroiled in rows with the county council and Müller.
Mr Foy referred to Shropshire Council's submissions in his neutral comment: "I recognise that the application will be judged by Shropshire Council on legitimate planning grounds and whilst I could comment on traffic concerns and other matters I am confident that the council will deal with such matters appropriately and make their decision based on the evidence submitted.
"Of particular concern though are the concerns raised by the council's highways advisers (WSP UK Ltd) regarding the possibility of HGVs being parked on Shrewsbury Road or the A53 which would create serious traffic congestion problems and a safety hazard.
"They comment as follows: 'It is highly likely that this development would appeal to passing traffic, particularly commercial vehicle drivers. No facilities for such vehicles can be accommodated within the site, which could lead to HGV's being parked on Shrewsbury Road or A53, which would be contrary to the interests of highway safety.'"