Planning officers believe Moreton Hall hotel site is ‘not suitable’ for McDonald’s drive-thru

Moreton Hall councillor Frank Warby is angry about the prospect of a McDonalds Drive on the estate.

Moreton Hall councillor Frank Warby is angry about the prospect of a McDonalds Drive on the estate. The proposed site is the Dragonfly Hotel car park. Picture: Gregg Brown. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A countryside setting on the edge of Bury St Edmunds’ Moreton Hall estate is not a suitable location for a McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant, planning officers have said.

A countryside setting on the edge of Bury St Edmunds’ Moreton Hall estate is not a suitable location for a McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant, planning officers have said.

The corporation wants to build a new food outlet on the site of the Dragonfly hotel off Symonds Road, but has been met with fierce opposition from the local community.

The planning policy team at St Edmundsbury Borough Council have said the plans, which include illuminated signage, should be refused “on a number of counts”, including the land is countryside and other locations had not been given sufficient consideration.

It follows Suffolk County Council highways team recommending the plans are thrown out “on lack of visibility and insufficient parking grounds”.


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The planning policy response says it is “surprising” McDonald’s had failed to properly consider a location on the eastern edge of the Suffolk Business Park, which could cater for a roadside restaurant and has easy access to the A14.

The team also flagged up there would not be enough car parking for the existing hotel at the Symonds Road site, and attractive landscaping would have to be removed to make way for the development. “This, combined with the number and type of advertisements and signs required for the proposed use, would have a permanent and damaging negative impact on the distinctive character of Bury St Edmunds,” they went on to say.

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Moreton Hall borough councillor Frank Warby said: “I’m very pleased with the outcome so far and so are people I have spoken to. Hopefully it will come to fruition.”

A borough council spokeswoman said the application should be decided under delegated powers, unless a ward member wished to call it in to be considered by the development control committee.

Cliff Hind, chairman of the Moreton Hall Residents’ Association, was pleased with the policy team’s recommendation, but was concerned, if refused, the applicant might take it to appeal.

In a supporting statement with their planning application, the applicant said the proposed site for the development was the “optimum” location. “It also provides an opportunity to take advantage of passing traffic and linked trips.”

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