Bid for McDonald’s and Starbucks on edge of town take step forward
PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:18 23 May 2020
Plans to build a McDonald’s and Starbucks on the outskirts of a Norfolk town have received the backing of planning officers.
West Norfolk Council planning officers have recommended that proposals to build the two restaurants near the A10 Bexwell roundabout on the outskirts of Downham Market be approved.
Their comments on the council’s agenda documents, published ahead of the planning committee meeting next month, said the “economic benefits of the proposed development outweigh the concerns” raised by those objecting to it.
The plans also include 90 parking spaces for both customers and staff, with cycle parking and an outdoor eating and play space.
Planning permission was granted five years ago for a similar application on the land, which has been disused for around 40 years, but it had lapsed and new plans were submitted.
Members of Downham Market Town Council unanimously voted against the application in February.
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As it stands 155 people have expressed their support for the potential restaurants on the borough council’s website and 96 have objected.
Objectors argued the town has plenty of places to eat, while those in favour have argued it will attract more people into the town and offer jobs to residents.
Documents show planning officers were happy with the public response to the application, which they said has seen an “active show of support” from more than 60pc of the local community.
They said that although the A10 already has two eateries, Arbuckles and Downham Country Garden Store & Café, the proposed brands offered a “different dining experience and catering for a different clientele”.
The document said: “The proposal is considered to be an economic proposal, with some employment potential, that is situated in a sustainable position adjoining the development boundary for the town.
“Its location in close proximity to the A10 provides a roadside service facility.
“It is considered that the economic benefits of the proposed development outweigh the concerns raised by objectors to the scheme.”
The application is due to be discussed at the council’s virtual planning committee meeting on Monday, June 1.
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