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Plans for McDonalds and Starbucks on town outskirts called ‘ludicrous’

PUBLISHED: 14:26 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:14 06 February 2020

Could Downham Market be a step closer to getting a McDonald's and Starbucks? Picture: Jay Nelson

Could Downham Market be a step closer to getting a McDonald's and Starbucks? Picture: Jay Nelson

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A plan to build a new McDonald’s and Starbucks on the outskirts of a town has been given the thumbs down by councillors and slammed as “ludicrous” by residents.

Local residents to the proposed site opposed the plans at the Downham Market town council meeting. Pictured: Stephen Cornelius (left), Rita Cornelius, Kevin Taylor, Evey Cornelius, Richard Cornelius and Rose Cornelius. Picture: Sarah HussainLocal residents to the proposed site opposed the plans at the Downham Market town council meeting. Pictured: Stephen Cornelius (left), Rita Cornelius, Kevin Taylor, Evey Cornelius, Richard Cornelius and Rose Cornelius. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Members of Downham Market Town council unanimously voted against a planning application to build a McDonald's and Starbucks on the outskirts of the town.

Councillors objected on the grounds it could pose road safety issues and negatively impact the historic and conservation landscape on Bexwell road.

Around 20 residents attended the evening meeting at Downham Market's town hall on Tuesday, February 4.

Despite the vote, the final say on the decision will come from West Norfolk Council's planning committee at a future meeting.

Local residents to the proposed site opposed the plans at the Downham Market town council meeting. Pictured: Stephen Cornelius (left), Rita Cornelius, Kevin Taylor, Evey Cornelius, Richard Cornelius and Rose Cornelius. Picture: Sarah HussainLocal residents to the proposed site opposed the plans at the Downham Market town council meeting. Pictured: Stephen Cornelius (left), Rita Cornelius, Kevin Taylor, Evey Cornelius, Richard Cornelius and Rose Cornelius. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Nearby residents argued that the report on the distance from the site and residential properties is "false" claiming the proposed development is closer to housing than stated.

Stephen Cornelius, who lives on Bexwell Road, "implored" councillors to object to the plans.

He said: "It's a ludicrous idea and it's going to impact so negatively on the local residents.

"I think it's going to be very dangerous."

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He added the development poses a road safety issue for traffic near the A10 Bexwell roundabout and the nearby schools, saying the roundabout is already a "hairy business."

MORE: Norfolk town could get McDonald's and Starbucks

The meeting was told that the site was previously used by British Sugar as a sports and social club.

Planning permission was granted five years ago for development on the site on the grounds of "economic and employment potential" but that application had lapsed and new plans were submitted.

Kevin Taylor, who said he was 150 yards from the proposed development, raised the issue of noise for local residents.

He said: "Late at night we're going to hear the noise coming from that. It's wrong to have that noise 24/7."

Others argued building the restaurants on the outskirts of the town would be "unacceptably intrusive."

While the council agreed that the scheme has the potential to create jobs in the area, they argued the environmental and safety issues outweighed that.

Councillors expressed concern over the potential for the development to take away from independent oulets in the town centre.

Adding the town was "all restauranted out."

Deputy mayor, Jenny Groom, said it was an "inappropriate development which would impact significantly on the street scene."

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