CREDITON Town Councillors have heard that negotiations between McDonald’s, which is planning to build a restaurant and drive-thru on the edge of Crediton, are proceeding well with Mid Devon District Council.
Councillor Guy Cochran, both a Mid Devon and Crediton Town Councillor, told fellow town councillors that he had been privy to some of the discussions which had been taking place, adding that many of the points raised previously by Crediton Town Council had been listened to.
He was speaking at a Planning and Strategy Committee meeting of the Town Council on Tuesday, October 3.
The aspects he said which had been discussed 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 contribute to the following agenda item, 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”.
He 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.
He described McDonald’s as “appalling” and the prospect of a drive-thru as “crazy”.
He said that the restaurant would “wreck the High Street” and said that driving to where the store is proposed would be “problematic”.
Cllr Cochran said that there were still issues with the unadopted road beyond the site which leads to Redlands Surgery and Crediton Railway Station, which could have a bearing on the application.
Cllr Brookes-Hocking said: “The amount of exterior lighting at the Mole Avon site is already a light pollution issue which has never been addressed and the council hopes to raise it with the business.”
She commented on the lack of screening or hedging around the restaurant and Cllr Fawssett raised the issue of retaining trees.
The type of trees planted, particularly a lack of aquatic planting was commented upon, saying it should be part of flood mitigation.
It was noted that suitable trees and screening would also help with light pollution issues.
“It would be the first block of light one sees when entering the town from that end,” one councillor commented.
The issue of an excess of plate glass in the building, health and climate, encouragement of more local produce and using local businesses was also mentioned.
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.”
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