Campaign to stop 24-hour McDonald’s drive-through in Bedhampton

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RESIDENTS are on the warpath to stop a 24-hour McDonald’s drive-through being built on their doorstep.

People living in Bedhampton say the McDonald’s proposed next to the Asda superstore will blight their lives with noise, light pollution and anti-social behaviour.

They are also worried about extra traffic clogging up the roundabout.

More than 100 people have already signed a petition objecting to the plans.

As reported in The News, the burger giant wants to spend about £1m on building a new restaurant off the A3M.

A similar plan for a McDonald’s restaurant was refused by Havant Borough Council in 2002 over concerns about traffic.

The new restaurant, off Larchwood Avenue, would have room for 100 diners and could operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, although opening hours have not yet been finalised.

Caroline Scott, 45, lives in nearby Chestnut Avenue and her house will overlook the drive-through.

She says the wooded area next to her home is already a magnet for anti-social behaviour and a McDonald’s could exacerbate the problems.

Mrs Scott, who works for the Ministry of Defence, said: ‘We have children in the woods at three or four o’clock in the morning shouting and screaming.

‘When that McDonald’s is built it will become a haven for anti-social behaviour.

‘My bedroom directly faces that area. At the moment it’s great because it’s covered by trees, but come October all the leaves will have fallen down.

‘Do I want to see a great big McDonald’s sign and that noise going on 24/7?’

She was also worried about light pollution from the restaurant.

Mrs Scott added: ‘When I am trying to get to sleep at night, I don’t want a neon McDonald’s light glaring in on me.’

Community leaders, including members of Bedhampton Residents’ Association, have already objected to the plans.

But officials from McDonald’s have said the new restaurant could provide up 30 full-time and 50 part-time jobs.

The company’s planning report states: ‘The importance of minimising noise is emphasised to staff, and “considerate neighbour signs” and an Environmental Manual and audit systems are used to manage noise in the longer term.

‘McDonald’s can also employ a range of site-specific noise mitigation measures in response to amenity issues, if these are necessary. Incidents of anti-social behaviour are kept to an absolute minimum through strategies such as staff training in dealing with incidents, liaison with community police officers and use of CCTV cameras where necessary.’

The report adds that residents will not be able to smell cooking odours as an air extraction system removes airborne grease and odours.

Havant Borough Council is set to make a decision on the plans by September.