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Downsized McDonald's set for Newmarket after West Suffolk planners rubber stamp smaller scheme




A downsized McDonald's will be built in Newmarket after district planners rubber stamped the company's latest plans.

The fast food giant already had permission to build a two storey drive-through in Willie Snaith Road along with a Costa, but the coffee chain pulled out leading to the Big Mac maker asking for the go-ahead to build a smaller unit.

And on Tuesday West Suffolk Council's delegation committee - a group of councillors who decide if plans should be looked over at a full planning meeting - rubber stamped the new plans, paving the way for the new takeaway to be built.

What the drive through will look like at Newmarket's Willie Snaith Road McDonald's.
What the drive through will look like at Newmarket's Willie Snaith Road McDonald's.

Cllr Andy Drummond said he urged the committee to give the green light to the plans, which were recommended for approval by council staff, and that the single storey building would be 'less conspicuous and better for Newmarket'.

Newmarket Town Council, of which Cllr Drummond is also a member of, had objected to the new plans.

"I felt this is ridiculous because McDonald's have a fall back position of building a much bigger outlet," said Cllr Drummond.

Computer generated image of McDonald's in Newmarket's Willie Snaith Road
Computer generated image of McDonald's in Newmarket's Willie Snaith Road

"I have been watching social media and I think Newmarket wants a McDonald's so let's just get on with it," he said. "If we try to stop them building a smaller one it either takes longer and, if we're successful in stopping that, they just build a bigger one.

"So it seems a pointless waste of time to me to challenge the smaller unit."

The town council has fought against the proposal every step of the way, and had argued against building both the two storey and single storey outlets on the grounds that it is against the Newmarket Neighbourhood Plan.

Land in Willie Snaith Road which will soon be a McDonald's. Picture: Dan Barker
Land in Willie Snaith Road which will soon be a McDonald's. Picture: Dan Barker

McDonald's have separately applied for permission to build a five metre tall sign featuring the iconic golden arches, proposals Newmarket Town Council discussed at its planning committee on Tuesday.

At that meeting West Suffolk Council, which make the final call on almost all planning applications in the area, came under fire from Cllr Michael Jeffreys, the town's mayor.

“The philosophy of the planners at West Suffolk doesn’t seem to accept that we’re trying to make our town look beautiful from the very outside to the conservation area at the centre," he told the meeting.

“And it seems to be beyond their concept that we could manage this if we drew a line somewhere.”

He said a recent government paper urged planners to think about ‘beautiful buildings’ and called on planners to take this on board.

Cllr Rachel Hood won backing from councillors to defer their decision, and try to meet with McDonald’s and West Suffolk Council to discuss the plans.

“This situation has not filled the town council with a feeling that we’re working with McDonald’s,” she said.

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