"McDonald's would make life here hellish"

“McDonald’s would make life here hellish”

Developers have defended their plan to open a new McDonald’s off Thanet Way amid fears from residents it will “make their lives hell”.

The new drive-thru is set to be the flagship unit of a proposed business park in Dargate, between Faversham and Whitstable.

A computer generated image of what McDonald’s will look like

It is hoped the restaurant will reduce pressure on the always busy Chestfield branch, as well as address the lack of an existing McDonald’s in Faversham.

But living around the villages of Yorkletts, Hernhill and Dargate fear increased litter and traffic due to resident development.

The proposals – submitted by George Wilson Developments to Swale Borough Council last month – have so far attracted around 20 objects.

Hernhill resident Clare Ganderton said: “The proposed area is not at all suitable for a McDonald’s drive-thru.

“Traffic on the small lanes through the local villages will absolutely increase as they will be used as a passage by those who live in the surrounding areas.

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“All local roads leading to the proposed site are mostly wide enough for a single vehicle. There are no footpaths.”

Others say litter from existing nearby businesses including Starbucks, Costa and Subway is a “huge” problem with litter flying around villages and nesting in hedgerows.

Dargate Road resident Julie Deachamps says ‘McDonald’s would make life here hellish’, while Jeff Clark argues ‘there is clearly no need’ for another fast food restaurant.

Paul Marsh added: “If the need is for residents of Faversham, locate a McDonald’s in Faversham where the need is, avoiding unnecessary use of vehicles and littering local villages and country lanes.”

Those behind the project say the location is a prime spot for a new restaurant and say the demand is there.

It is feared that the side of the road is littered with rubbish
It is feared that the side of the road is littered with rubbish

Developer Josh Wilson says there will be no increased congestion or country road issues as a result of the program.

“McDonald’s predicts that customers will come from through traffic on the dual carriageway,” he said.

“They don’t anticipate significant traffic growth, so there won’t be any problems on the surrounding roads.

“We don’t think there will be a significant amount of traffic, if any. There has been significant modeling for this program and we are confident of that.

“The other businesses on the site will not be offices, they will be storage. So there will be no more traffic.”

Josh Wilson is convinced that traffic will not increase
Josh Wilson is convinced that traffic will not increase

As for waste fears, Mr Wilson says the new development will help reduce waste rather than cause it.

“The nearby Subway, Costa and Starbucks don’t have waste management plans,” he said.

“But McDonald’s still signs litter agreements – they run daily litter pick-ups to clean the roads.

“Nothing is being done for the existing litter, but when McDonald’s opens daily swabs will be taken free of charge.

“The closest person to file an objection lives just over half a mile from the site.

“It’s a site that can’t be used for anything else – it can’t be for farming.

“Hernhill Parish Council have been unanimous in their support and we believe it will improve the area.”

The new McDonald’s, due to open next year, is expected to create 30 full-time jobs.

The drive-thru restaurant and dining area will be part of a new business park housing three industrial units, including a storage facility for Kent-based entertainment company Luna Cinema.

The company, which is mainly owned by industry giant Sony, prides itself as the nation’s “leading producer of outdoor film events” – hosting film screenings at venues such as Leeds Castle and Clapham Common.

The new base off Thanet Way will house the giant screens and serve as a distribution centre.

It has not yet been revealed which other companies will move into the business park.

The 2.5 acre triangular plot of land, circled by Highstreet Road and the Plumpudding Lane upper bridge crossing Thanet Way, is currently a grass paddock.

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