Almost 700 people have signed a petition against McDonald’s bid to build a Drive-Thru at the gateway to the new Lyde Green housing development where it had been hoped a leisure centre would be built.
A mixed-use development is being proposed just off the Rosary roundabout on the ring road, opposite Emersons Green town centre. As well as the fast-food restaurant with parking for 32 vehicles, a 2,748sq m Lidl supermarket with 157 parking spaces is proposed, along with a Greene King Farmhouse Inn with 94 parking spaces. It is understood that Lidl would move over from its current unit over the road at Emersons Green to the new development.
Emersons Green Town Council’s planning committee has raised a “strong objection” to the proposals, saying there had been permission for a David Lloyd leisure centre on the site and some people may have moved to Lyde Green expecting such a facility.
Permission was granted on appeal in 2005 for a racquets, health and fitness club including tennis courts, swimming pools, a multi-purpose sports hall, fitness hall and related facilities. In 2010, an application was submitted seeking an extension of time for the implementation of the leisure centre for a further three years, which was granted. However, it was not implemented and permission lapsed in 2013.
The town council says in a letter to the planning authority South Gloucestershire Council: “This is a prime site at the entrance to the new development and should be very carefully and diligently developed after considering the wishes and needs of the community.”
Around 2,550 new homes are being built at Lyde Green. The online petition says residents who have already moved into new homes have not been informed or appropriately consulted on the new scheme: “It was through sheer blind luck that someone from a newly formed community group stumbled across the application and informed others.”
There was a flood of objections to the council before the 26th February deadline for comments. People have voiced concern that the Drive-Thru would be close to homes and would lead to noise, disturbance, odour and anti-social behaviour. There is also concern that a development so close to the roundabout will lead to congestion.
One objector said: “This application has made no consideration to the wants or needs of the local residents. Lyde Green is already surrounded at each end by pubs, and the addition of a 24-hour ‘restaurant’ only brings more opportunity for anti-social behaviour, traffic and pollution to the local community.
“I for one moved here on the premise that it would be a nice new village to bring my children up in, full of local suppliers and recognisable faces…. A fast-food restaurant on our doorstep is absolutely not at all what we wanted for this new community and I’m disgusted that no regard to the local residents has been made before this application was made.”
Another said: “I strongly object to the development. Having recently moved to the area, I am dismayed to learn of this proposal. Lyde Green was advertised as a community built in a parkland setting, not as a community built amongst vast retail developments.”