McDonald’s drive-thru plans for retail park in Wrexham placed on hold

A DECISION on plans to build a drive-thru McDonald’s on a busy Wrexham retail park has been placed on hold.

It follows concerns being raised over the impact the application by the fast food chain to open a restaurant on the Plas Coch Retail Park would have on traffic and road safety.

Similar proposals were refused by councillors in June 2021 for the same reasons, while an appeal was later rejected by a planning inspector because of fears it would increase phosphate pollution levels in rivers.

The company resubmitted its proposals in May last year after upgrades were carried out at the Five Fords wastewater treatment works, which means it has more capacity to remove contaminants.

The two-storey development, which McDonald’s said would create more than 120 jobs, is proposed to be located on a car parking area which serves The Range and Farmfoods.

The scheme was recommended for approval by a senior officer from Wrexham Council ahead of a planning committee meeting held this afternoon (Tuesday, 7 May).

However, local councillor Marc Jones (Plaid) said that traffic on the retail park had grown worse since the original application after M&S opened a foodhall there in December and with new houses being built nearby.

He said: “I think we have to bear in mind there are three key developments that have happened since this was last before us and since the appeal judgement was made.

“One is that 90 new homes have been built on the university campus and they all use Plas Coch Road for access, which wasn’t the case prior to when we last discussed it.

“The second is the 455 homes which have now been granted permission on the Circus Fields and the third is the M&S foodhall, which is very popular and it’s obviously driving more traffic.

“All three have or will increase traffic movements on what is already a very busy stretch of road.”

Two neighbouring residents raised concerns about the plans, highlighting the proximity of the fast food restaurant to Ysgol Plas Coch Primary School.

They voiced fears it could lead to more littering and pollution from exhaust fumes, as well as an increase in rat problems in the area.

They also questioned the need for a third McDonald’s in the city centre after a new restaurant was recently opened on the nearby Border Retail Park, in addition to the one on Regent Street.

Cllr Graham Rogers (Lab) was among the committee members who took issue with the application due to road safety issues.

He said:“We need to be mindful of using common sense because I would not want to be approving this application, only to find out at a later date that a fatality has happened, and a child has been knocked over. I will not be supporting the application.”

A total of 88 representations were received in support of the proposals, citing the extra jobs and investment it would create.

Wrexham’s chief planning officer recommended in a report that councillors should approve the application.

David Fitzsimon said: “This application is accompanied by a traffic assessment which has assessed committed and planned developments in the locality, including the 90 homes on Plas Coch Road, the re-development of Glyndwr University and the 455 dwellings proposed (in Stansty).

“The traffic generation estimates for the restaurant itself have been based on analysis of other comparable restaurants and are considered acceptable.

“The traffic assessment demonstrates that the proposed development would result in a small change in the level of queues and would have only a minimal impact on the highway network.”

Cllr Jeremy Newton (Cons) said while he was not fond of the food served at McDonald’s, he would be supporting the application.

However, the committee opted to defer consideration of the proposals by six votes to four to allow a full assessment of the impact it would have on traffic.

Story by Liam Randall – LDRS Reporter

Featured Image – Elkanah Evans, Journalist for Carmarthenshire News Online

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