Protesters convince councillors to refuse permission for Wallington McDonald's
People power persuaded councillors to reject McDonald's' plans to build a branch in Wallington.
The chairman of Sutton Council's planning committee admitted he had expected to approve the plans to build a two storey drive-through in Stafford Road but was convinced against the scheme after he heard neighbours' arguments against it during a lengthy meeting last night.
A band joined the protest
More than 100 people - including a band - staged a protest at the council's St Nicholas Way offices last night and several neighbours spoke during the meeting. Speakers cited problems with traffic, noise, anti-social behaviour and the effect the restaurant could have on children's health among their reasons for objecting to the restaurant, which would have opened from 6am to 11pm every day and attracted up to 1,000 vehicles a day.
The council's planning officers had recommended the members of the committee approve the application but, following arguments from both the objectors and representatives from the fast-food chain, the application was unanimously voted down.
Among those who spoke out against the application was Alan Fitter who organised a petition against the application whose Charlotte Road house backs on to the application site. He listed names of people including pensioners, first time buyers and a widower whose lives would have been affected by the plans and said: "The people of Wallington are crying in a loud voice 'please reject this application'. I hope you can hear their cries."
Campaigners raised concerns about the plans affecting the health of children
Robert Landeryou, speaking on behalf of the Onslow Gardens Residents' Association, added: "It will attract anti-social behaviour and cause an increase in traffic. Future opening times will be increased until it is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. McDonald's packaging will be thrown out of vehicles into the streets and heavy lorries will deliver to the site early in the morning."
Representatives from McDonald's told the meeting deliveries would only be made between 8am and 6pm, that staff would go on regular litter picks, traffic and noise would be managed and that McDonald's now has a range of healthy options on its menu.
The application site in Stafford Road
But the arguments were not enough for the councillors. Councillor John Leach, chairman of the development control committee, said: "I have to say, to begin with I couldn't see any real objection to this proposal. I thought it won't make that much of a difference.
"I am, however, persuaded by various arguments and agree with them in that this is an application that should undoubtedly be refused."
Councillors unanimously voted down the proposal to loud cheers from the audience.McDonald's will now have the option of appealing against the decision.
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