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McDonald's restaurant in Oakham is recommended for approval by planners

Plans for Rutland’s first branch of McDonald’s have been recommended for approval by planners.

The fast food giant wants to build Rutland’s first McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru off Lands’ End Way in Oakham at the junction with Hackamore Way.

The application will go before members of Rutland County Council’s planning and licensing committee on Tuesday.

The site off Lands' End Way that McDonald's would like to develop in Oakham
The site off Lands' End Way that McDonald's would like to develop in Oakham

Planning officers from the county council have recommended councillors approve the application, saying the development would “not have an adverse impact on neighbouring residential amenities and/or the character of the surrounding area”.

They also say that the proposed site is allocated for employment use and the off-street car parking is in line with council policy.

But if granted, the approval would be subject to 27 conditions - ranging from the materials used to build the restaurant to carrying out the building work in line with a badger survey to ensure wildlife at the site is protected.

Other conditions state that “odour control measures” should be installed and that the development can’t be used until the car park, cycle stands, electric vehicle charging points and the disabled car parking bays have been installed to make sure on-street parking doesn’t happen.

If approved, the restaurant would create 65 jobs and be open 24 hours a day.

A children’s outdoor playarea would also be built.

In the application, senior acquisition surveyor Paul Thomas, on behalf of McDonald’s, says the site has been chosen because it is on the edge of town away from the historic centre of Oakham.

He states: “We always do our utmost to ensure our impact on the area is a positive one.”

Mr Thomas goes onto say that, if approved, the branch would look to establish links with local football teams as other franchisees have given out new equipment and kits as part of a partnership with the Football Association.

Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, there were 78 representations from residents made to the council, with 55 against the plans and 23 in support.

The plan was praised for the amount of youth employment created; as being a positive development for the county; and providing an alternative food option.

However, there was also opposition to the McDonald’s application with residents stating concerns that there would be an increase in litter; a negative impact on the pubs and restaurants in Oakham; and it would undermine ‘the Rutland brand’.

There were other concerns expressed, including the possibility of anti-social behaviour, bad smells and poor lighting.

One neighbouring resident also raised a concern that the value of their property could decrease as a result.

Barleythorpe Parish Council and Oakham Town Council were both consulted as part of the application

In its response Barleythorpe Parish Council said the development of the current site, which it described as a “wasteland” would be welcomed and Oakham Town Council noted that development on the site should be for employment instead of

But both councils asked for conditions including that the number of disabled bays be increased from two to three; and that McDonald’s commitment to carry out three litter picks a day is enforced.

Oakham in Bloom was also consulted and objected because of concerns over landscaping and in particular, the lack of a comprehensive planting and aftercare programme.

McDonald’s said 394 people attended a public consultation in May last year at the Victoria Hall in Oakham, which showed 60 per cent either supported a McDonald’s, or they were neutral. A poll on our website found that 53 per cent of respondents were in favour and 47 per cent were against.

Councillors are also being asked to grant consent to three supplementary applications for a 12m totem sign; the erection of a canopy-covered loading bay; and a range of signage.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 6pm and is in the council chamber in Oakham.

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