McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant plans for Moreton Hall are rejected by council

The site of the Dragonfly Hotel car park. Picture: GREGG BROWN.

The site of the Dragonfly Hotel car park. Picture: GREGG BROWN. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Plans for a McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant on the edge of a residential area in Bury St Edmunds have been rejected by council officers.

There had been a hard-fought campaign by local residents and councillors opposed to the proposal for the Dragonfly Hotel car park off Symonds Road at Moreton Hall.

The decision was made this week by officers of St Edmundsbury Borough Council to refuse the plans, on grounds including its out-of-town countryside location and that there was a more suitable site in the area.

Cliff Hind, chairman of the Moreton Hall Residents’ Association, said: “It’s been a lot of work and locally people were galvanised to do it - not only members of the committee of the residents’ association, but other people have pulled together.

“Really and truly it’s not the place for that. The only thing I worry slightly about is whether McDonald’s appeal.”

He added: “It’s quite gratifying really to find that the affected residents and also the local councillors for that area can be shown to work together.”

In the reasons for their refusal, officers wrote the site is prominently located in a landscaped countryside location, which is protected from unsustainable development.

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“The site forms a buffer from the busy A14 and provides an attractive setting for the residential development of Morton Hall,” they added.

Also included in their decision, officers said a site next to junction 45 of the A14 - on the eastern edge of the Suffolk Business Park - would be more accessible and convenient to motorists.

Councillor Trevor Beckwith, who represents Moreton Hall on Suffolk County Council and the borough council, said: “The council have offered them an option. I just don’t get why they wanted to go and ruin a residential area.”

He said he was “fairly sure” if McDonald’s appealed the decision, the council’s case was strong enough to succeed.

McDonald’s was approached for a comment, but failed to respond in time. Previously, they said they could have a “positive impact” in the area, including through the creation of jobs, and “proudly operate our business in a responsible way, beneficial to those in the immediate and surrounding areas”.

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