‘Beverley needs a McDonald’s – and this is why’

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A church minister is backing controversial plans for a McDonald’s drive-thru in Beverley, insisting it would be a big plus for the town.

Scores of residents have objected to the fast food giant’s plan, with some claiming it would present an obesity risk to local school children.

But The Reverend John Beynon, minister at King’s Church, Swinemoor Lane, is backing the proposal for the Morrisons retail park, off Victoria Road.

Rev John Beynon at the proposed McDonald's site on the Morrisons retail park
Rev John Beynon at the proposed McDonald’s site on the Morrisons retail park

He said: “As a father of five children, I think that McDonald’s is a great resource for parents.

“Both young children and teenagers love to go to McDonald’s.

“It is one of the only restaurants where most families can afford to take their children – and the children actually want to go!

“I think it would be a big plus to the town to have McDonald’s there, and I feel that it is the ideal venue, well serviced by good roads, far enough from the residential houses for them to be affected.

“Why do the Beverley families have go drag their kids to Kingswood for a family meal at McDonald’s?”

Mr Beynon, who is also chief executive officer of the Jacob’s Well charity in Beverley, believes the venue would appeal to young families.

He says: “When you go to McDonald’s it’s full of young families and a lot of people like to have children’s parties there.

“There is not anywhere like that in Beverley.”

He also countered complaints it would encourage poor eating habits among local school children.

Rev Beynon says: “McDonald’s is not as unhealthy as it used to be. They have a lot of healthy options, including salad and fresh fruit.

“For many lower middle income families it’s the only place to go to eat. Your children also get a toy.

“I think it would be a great place for the families of Beverley.”

Rev Beynon says the Morrisons site is the ideal venue for a McDonald's drive-through
Rev Beynon says the Morrisons site is the ideal venue for a McDonald’s drive-through

Concerns about traffic queues, litter, vermin, noise, antisocial behaviour and the proximity to schools and the recently-opened Claremont House care home have sparked scores of objections to the hamburger chain’s plans.

A doctor who has objected to the planning application has told East Riding Council: “Nearly a third of children aged two to 15 are overweight or obese and younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer.

“The location is close to Beverley Grammar School. Children from the housing estate will be exposed to an additional risk factor for obesity when walking to and from school.

“Many children already walk to the Morrisons area at lunch time and are likely to eat at McDonald’s.

A photo depicting what the front of the restaurant would look like, as seen in McDonald's planning application.
A photo depicting what the front of the restaurant would look like, as seen in McDonald’s planning application.

“Despite the provision of some moderately healthy alternatives, the majority of meals are high in fat, sugar and overall calorific value.

“This is not aligned with the government strategy on managing the childhood obesity epidemic.”

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A nearby resident who has objected to the site’s proximity to Beverley Grammar School has told the council: “It is within ten minutes walking distance of a secondary school – pupils already fuel their afternoons with Morrisons, they do not need their afternoons fuelling with items from the 99p saver menu!”

Another resident claims: “This is not the way to best educate students in good healthy eating and diet.”

East Riding ward Councillor David Elvidge says: “Since the announcement of the planning proposal for a McDonald’s to be sited on the outskirts of Beverley I have and continue to receive numerous emails and phone calls on the matter.

“More recently the number of supportive calls for this proposal has increased significantly.

Cllr David Elvidge wants people to have their say on the McDonalds plan
Cllr David Elvidge wants people to have their say on the McDonalds plan

“I would continue to encourage residents to use the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) planning portal to log their views online or write to ERYC planning, or indeed their ERYC ward councillor to ensure their voices are heard.”

McDonald’s has said if plans are approved, the restaurant would create 65 full and part-time jobs and bring significant investment to the local community.

A spokeswoman said: “We’re aware of a small number of concerns raised following our application and we hope to be given the chance to provide reassurance where we can.

“As part of our commitment to be a good neighbour, we will continue to work closely with the council to address concerns as part of the planning process.”

East Riding Council, which has received more than 100 representations, is expected to consider the planning application in September.



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