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McDonald's and Costa Coffee drive-through set for Newmarket after council approves plans

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Newmarket is set to be the latest town with a McDonald’s drive-through despite concerns about it being so close to the town’s only playing fields.

Today West Suffolk Council’s planning committee approved plans to build an outlet for the American fast food giant and a Costa Coffee in Willie Snaith Road.

At the meeting, Cllr Rachel Hood, representing Newmarket Town Council, said the proposals went against the recently adopted Neighbourhood Plan, presented highways issues and raised public health concerns.

The proposed McDonald's in Newmarket's Willie Snaith Road (35922845)
The proposed McDonald's in Newmarket's Willie Snaith Road (35922845)

“It hasn’t been stressed that this application literally adjoins our only playing fields,” Cllr Hood told the committee. “That in my, and the town council’s view, is completely unacceptable.”

Cllr Hood said there was a lack of open space in the town and added: “We find it very disappointing that West Suffolk is proposing to site a McDonald’s and a Costa effectively on our children’s playing field where a new skate park is going to be open and where people in Newmarket don’t have the opportunity to go elsewhere.”

And Sara Beckett, secretary of the Newmarket Neighbourhood Plan, said the new build, at the gateway of the town, would be in full view and ‘would not give Newmarket the unique identity that the plan was trying to achieve’.

“Newmarket should not be like any other town and with 1,300 McDonald’s restaurants in the UK alone it would not be promoting the vision that is desired for Newmarket,” she said.

The meeting also heard nearby residents had also raised concerns about litter, smell, noise and traffic.

Cllr Andy Neal, who represents Mildenhall, said the site was an industrial area and a drive- through McDonald’s couldn’t be located in the town centre. He added there was already a Burger King drive-through nearby and it being near the playing field wasn’t a problem.

“The only objection seems to be coming mainly from the Newmarket Town Council and nobody else at all and that’s because, obviously, they want to control any development in the area,” he said. Cllr Andy Drummond, a self-confessed McDonald’s fan, told the committee he was concerned with it being so close to the playing fields and the potential for queuing on Willie Snaith Road.

Developer CI Industries Ltd, was granted permission to build the restaurants close to the hardware store Wickes and the Tesco supermarket, which will be accessed by the roundabout used for both the stores.