McDonald’s sets sights on Royston

PUBLISHED: 09:35 30 August 2012

The site of the proposed McDonald's restraunt. Picture Keith Dobney

The site of the proposed McDonald's restraunt. Picture Keith Dobney

Nigel_Luckhurst

A FAST food giant has set its sight on Royston with McDonald’s hoping to build a drive-through on the outskirts of the town.

The multinational firm has lodged a planning application with North Herts District Council (NHDC) for land currently occupied by a car wash next to the Little Chef restaurant on Baldock Road, near the A505.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We can confirm that we submitted our application on August 10 for a new restaurant on Baldock Road.

“We would like to invest in Royston and, if the application is successful, this restaurant will bring 65 full and part-time jobs to the local area.

“McDonald’s employs over 87,500 people in the UK and offers leading training and development programmes to all our employees.”

Traders in the town centre have hit out at the plans claiming Royston has already got too many food outlets and that smaller businesses will be hit.

Bayram Pelit, director at the family-run Master Fryer in Angel Pavement, said: “I don’t think it will be nice for Royston because we already have too many take-aways here and it is hard to do good trade. If they come to Royston they will put all of the takeaways at risk.”

His concern was echoed by Mustafa Kaya, a chef at Moreno’s Cafe.

“People want something different to food shops, something like a Wilkinson or an Iceland – that’s what we need,” he said.

“There’s too many takeaways in Royston, can you image nearly 15 food shops around here or more?”

At present the restaurant’s proposed opening hours are unknown but an application for a 4.6m tall advertising totem features a drawing with a 24-hour sign.

If the company gets the green light 30 full-time jobs and 35 part-time roles would be provided by the 80-seat restaurant.

Town mayor Cllr Lindsay Davidson welcomed the application claiming it will be good for children and could draw people into Royston.

She told the Crow: “Personally I think it would be very good. It is a shame it won’t be in the town, it would be nicer to have it in the town so people would also go there. I know every year we do these school visits and one of the things they always ask for is a McDonald’s or Burger King in Royston. I know they will be pleased.

“I’m well aware there are people who won’t like it, but personally I think for the young of the town it will be good.

NHDC confirmed a planning application had been lodged with a decision expected in October. A decision will be made by a planning officer unless a councillor requests it goes to committee.

• What do you think, will McDonald’s be good for the town or will it be a blight on Royston? Get in touch at postbag@royston-crow.co.uk or write to The Crow, Thomas Morris, Melbourn Street, Royston, Herts, SG8 7BX.

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