STUDENTS at Queen Elizabeth’s School debated whether a McDonald's restaurant would be good for the people of Crediton on Monday, November 13.

The event was well attended by both students and members of the local community, more than 30 students and others present.

Student representatives spoke for and against the motion “McDonald’s would be good for Crediton” and both sides argued their case expertly.

A map of the proposed site of the McDonald’s Crediton restaurant and drive-thru.
A map of the proposed site of the McDonald’s Crediton restaurant and drive-thru. (McDonald’s planning documents)

Arguments put forward to support the motion included the need for more jobs and a greater choice of affordable food outlets in Crediton as well as the idea that the restaurant would provide a safer place for young people to meet in the evening.

Views against the development highlighted the impact of fast food on the environment and the potential job losses if local businesses were forced to close due to lack of business.

The likelihood of increased litter in the area and the link between fast food and obesity were also given as compelling arguments.

The judging panel, comprising of the Mayor of Crediton, Cllr Liz Brookes-Hocking, local GP Dr Liz Saunders, and community activist and local shopkeeper Paul Vincent, adjudged the debate a tie.

When put to a vote the audience voted overwhelmingly against the motion that McDonald's would be good for Crediton. 


In October members of Crediton Town Council heard that negotiations between Mid Devon District Council, the planning authority, and McDonald’s were going well with McDonald’s conceding on many issues.

An example of the style of McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru proposed for Crediton but which now it is proposed will be built with a red brick exterior and smaller M design.  Image: McDonald’s planning documents
An example of the style of McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru proposed for Crediton but which now it is proposed will be built with a red brick exterior and smaller M design. (McDonald’s planning documents)

The aspects which Cllr Guy Cochran, also a Mid Devon District Councillor, said which had been discussed in meetings he had been privy to, was that the building would now be built with a red brick exterior and have a smaller yellow M as the Town Council had requested to fit in with local red brick Listed buildings nearby.

He added that some of the signs had been reduced in size, noticeably the large sign would be reduced from 12 metres to seven metres.

He explained that Section 106 funding would permit £15,000 towards Crediton High Street development but this sum was questioned by many councillors, one describing the sum as “derisory” and suggesting that this should be increased.

Another described the £15,000 as “paltry to the point of ridiculous”.

Chairman and Crediton Mayor Cllr Liz Brookes-Hocking, said that perhaps McDonald’s would like to view the Crediton MasterPlan, which had many points where funding was required.

Cllr Cochran said that a cycleway on the roundabout and joining this to the Crediton to Exeter cycle route was to be part of the plan.

He added that there was concern about drainage for the site near Mole Avon, saying that an agreement had yet to be reached to allow drainage to join the Tesco drainage scheme.

He outlined how a new biodiversity scheme for more shrubs and trees had been proposed.

It was understood that McDonald’s still want the store to be open 24-hours-a-day. 

Crediton Town Council had objected to this but it was deemed that this was not a planning consideration.

Cllr Cochran had also met with Mole Avon which had expressed concerns with traffic and parking issues on the road to the store’s trade entrance.

Cllr Brookes-Hocking raised issues about the lighting, which she believed had not been addressed, about shortcomings of the biodiversity plan, about the highways issues and whether those leaving the restaurant should travel around the small Tesco roundabout or would be able to turn right due to volume of traffic.


Cllr Giles Fawssett emphasised his complete objection to the McDonald’s restaurant and said it sold “junk food”.

Other issues raised included a lack of screening or hedging around the restaurant, excess plate glass, health and climate, encouragement of more local produce and using local businesses was also mentioned.

Light mitigation as the first building to be approached from the Exeter side of the town was also debated.

Cllr Fawssett spoke about animal cruelty, meat eating, poor pay to staff, deforestation, the volume of preservatives used in foods, animal fats in the fries, driving to the restaurant and drive-thru causing an excess of traffic and more pollution.


Cllr Cochran said that the plan (restaurant and drive-thru, with two grill bays, on land at NGR 284600 099535, Joseph Locke Way, Crediton, EX17 3FD), had been called in for debate by Mid Devon District Councillors and that it would be discussed at a MDDC meeting on November 22.

Guy added: “At the MDDC Planning committee the meeting will hear and be aware of all supporting and objecting responses but will only take responses that are material considerations in the planning legislative framework.

“There will be no pre determination of the likely planning application outcome prior to the scheduled meeting.

“All planning documents and updates are available for the public to view via MDDC Planning portal.”

• Do you have a view about the plan for a 24-hour McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru to come to Crediton?

Send your views so that we can share them with fellow Crediton Courier readers, with your name, address and a telephone number to: The Editorial Manager, Crediton Courier, 102 High Street, Crediton Ex17 3LF or email: [email protected] .