HAVING read the article in the October 12 issue of the "Crediton Courier" entitled: "Negotiations with McDonald’s (MD) are going well Crediton Town Councillors are told”, I feel compelled to submit this response. 

Firstly, I agree wholeheartedly with Cllr Giles Fawssett’s objections to a 24-hour McDonald’s (MD) restaurant and drive-thru on the land adjacent to Mole Avon, at the entrance to our town.

I celebrate Cllr Fawssett’s very clear, honest and forthright objections to the proposal, and his courage for speaking up about what, I’m sure, many residents of Crediton will also be feeling. To coin a phrase, he did not "pull his punches". 

The fact that the proposed development will be at the very entrance of our town, in my opinion sends the clear, strong message to all visitors that: “This Town supports the eating of fast foods - 24 hours-a-day”.

What else could an MD 24-hour drive-thru be saying? It’s not as if MD needs the money, they have thousands of outlets worldwide and are being accused of major involvement in the growing obesity crisis in the USA during the past 20 years (watch the disturbing documentary "Super Size Me" by Morgan Spurlock).

UK doctors are constantly urging us to adopt healthy eating habits and reduce the consumption of fast foods.

Since the Covid-19 Pandemic, the NHS has been under extreme pressure.

So, there’s even more reason to take more responsibility for our own health.

Importantly, MD uses adverts full of colour and fun animations etc, but what sort of dysfunctional message are we giving to our children and young people?

Apart from the obvious unhealthy nutritional issues, I note that Cllr Brookes-Hocking suggested at the Town Council meeting on Tuesday October 3, “The amount of exterior lighting at the Mole Avon site is already a light pollution issue…”

If the MD development goes ahead, there will be no less than 12 illuminated signs outside the building with an extra sign with 20 illuminated dots (see: Mid Devon District Council (MDDC) Planning /application received week ending 21/6/23 - Crediton Town 18 – 23/00932/ADVER and Crediton Town 18 - 23/00933/ADVER).

As a 24-hour facility, one assumes these MD illuminations will be lit around the clock.

Another issue I have noticed in the various MDDC planning documents I have been reading online, is that our town adopted an Air Quality Management plan back in 2004, and whereby the construction of the Wellparks bypass, may have reduced some car exhaust pollution in the town, it’s possible that an increase of cars to and from MD, will cause it to rise again.

Crediton is a thriving market town with many varied eateries, restaurants and cafes - not to mention the very pleasant "Hayloft" cafe at Mole Avon.

We do not need another food outlet in the town.

Also, we are, quite rightly, always being encouraged to shop locally to support the local economy.

Pouring money into MD is counter to this policy. 

Policy S12 of the Crediton Masterplan states that it will support developments that “respect the setting provided by the open areas of hillside, and the adjoining historic parklands of (…)Downes.

An MD right on the Downes Estate doorstep will not be respecting this rural setting.

Crediton Town is, (quoting the Crediton Masterplan),“set within an attractive and pleasant environment reflecting the history and character of the place”. I strongly suggest, that a MD will run counter to this, and if anything, considerably lower the character of our town.

Please, Mid Devon District Council, do not look to MD to provide funding for future projects - their money, in my opinion is toxic.

I urge you to refuse planning for this MD development and in doing so, show real respect for our creative, increasingly environmentally aware, and very special market town of Crediton. 

Local Resident

Name and Address Supplied