Earlier this month over 200 people marched down Fishponds Road to protest against the fast food giant’s plans for the old Bristol Tiles unit.
They gathered on the site with banners and placards before marching down to the traffic lights at the bottom of Lodge Causeway and back, chanting “No McDonald’s in Fishponds”.
The next demo is on Saturday 8th November at 11am at the site of the proposed two-storey restaurant which would have seating for 100, with 28 parking spaces.
Well over 300 objections have now been lodged with Bristol City Council’s planning department while an e-petition on the council’s website opposing the application has more than 1,400 signatures.
Local people are worried about the effect of more traffic on an already congested and in places narrow route, as well as noise, disturbance, smell, litter and health concerns as the proposed restaurant is on the walking route of local schools.
Some objectors say a McDonald’s will have an adverse impact on existing fast food shops and restaurants and cause some to go out of business, which will create empty and un-used shops.
Local councillor Lesley Alexander is among those objecting to the proposals on the grounds of highway safety, smell, loss of privacy for residents and the risk of attracting anti-social behaviour and litter.
She adds: “Whilst health grounds are not a material consideration, there is recent case history apparently where one London Borough refused planning permission because of the location near a school, citing the damage to health of residents and their children. McDonald’s took the council to court but the judge sided with the council so this should be taken into consideration. McDonald’s have a habit of siting their restaurants near schools.”
But there are also some letters of support for a McDonald’s. A Fishponds Road resident said: “The site is currently rundown and an eyesore and I feel a new development would improve the look and feel of the area. It would bring in more jobs… There are plenty of places in the area where children or adults can buy unhealthy food if they wish to so.
“There is much objection to the increased traffic that people assume it will bring, however, it could also reduce some traffic as local residents who at present need to drive to the nearest McDonald’s will now be able to walk. Fishponds Road is solid from about 7am to 9am Monday to Friday. I cannot believe that a large number of people would join a queue that is that bad just to get a burger.”
And a Thingwall Park resident said: “This will help enliven this part of Fishponds Road, will provide employment for local people and will reduce the traffic within Bristol whereby people in the Fishponds area currently go to other McDonald’s restaurants.
“I cannot see how it will hurt the surrounding takeaways as the food is radically different.”