UK

Rutland no longer England’s only McDonald’s-free county

A McDonald's restaurant Image copyright PA
Image caption Councillors approved the application for a drive-thru on the outskirts of Oakham

Rutland will lose its status as the only county without a McDonald’s after councillors rubber-stamped plans for a new restaurant.

Some in the small rural East Midlands county have boasted of its unique independence from the American fast food giant.

But at a meeting on Tuesday councillors approved the application for a drive-thru on the outskirts of Oakham.

McDonald’s said it was “delighted” at the decision.

The company said the plans had a “great reception” and would create “at least 65 new jobs for local people”.

Before the meeting, Rutland County Council received 23 representations of support and 55 objections for the restaurant off Lands End Way.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The county is renowned for a number of traditions and landmarks, including Rutland Water

Charlie Pallett, who runs a blog about Rutland, said: “Our high streets are scattered with wonderful independents that offer something unique… I think we don’t need a McDonald’s.

“Our county is the last one in England without one. I think that is really special.”

But many supported the plans, arguing the town “needs” more employment and entertainment for young people.

Image caption Chris Goodchild said he was “all for” a McDonald’s in Rutland

Chris Goodchild told BBC East Midlands Today: “I’m all for it. I think it’s a load of nonsense we haven’t got one already.

“The high street is full of charity shops and coffee bars, so what’s the problem?”

Rutland resident Ella Peters added: “I think it is a positive thing in regards to bringing new jobs but I don’t believe it is a good idea to bring fast food – it is not very good for children.

“I think it is better to support local compared to the big nationals.”

England’s McDonald’s restaurants

Image caption McDonald’s says the restaurant will create 35 full-time and 30 part-time jobs
  • North East – 55
  • North West – 167
  • Yorkshire and Humber – 99
  • East Midlands – 91
  • West Midlands – 120
  • South East – 165
  • South West – 87
  • London – 181
  • East of England – 116

Source: McDonald’s 2019 Economic Impact report

Council officers had recommended plans for the restaurant be approved with 27 conditions, including the walls and roof should not be built until the details of materials and colours have been agreed with the authority.

Other conditions include trees should be protected and the restaurant should not open until a litter management plan has been approved by the council.

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Source: bbc.co.uk

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