Close call as Shotley peninsula McDonald's decision served up by Babergh planners

  Posted: 29.07.20 at 11:07 by The Editor

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Councillors have narrowly approved to have a Mcdonald's drive-thru restaurant near the top of Bourne Hill, as part of a new service station area at junction 56 off the A14

The decision went through with a 5-4 majority vote, with one councillor, Adrian Osborne, not able to take part in the debate and vote due to a technical fault, which meant he missed one of the speakers' representation.

Jane Gould, Orwell ward member that covers Wherstead, did not object to the proposal as something needed to be done with the area of land, and admitted she thought people on the peninsula would use the McDonalds, but pointed out she felt the traffic data was flawed.

"As a local person I know, it is not unusual for traffic at peak hours for traffic to be queuing back as far at Tattingtsone, whatever the data shows," she said. "With Babergh declaring a climate and bio-diversity emergency it is hard to know how increasing traffic will help that objective."

Cllr Gould added it was also important that provision was made for cycling and walking.

Concerns over the traffic congestion, were expressed by Cllr David Busby who also pointed out a service station, business and retail parks are not in the joint local plan, as there was designated for a park & ride, designed to lessen car journeys.

Cllr John Hinton also spoke about concerns about the Wherstead junction being a pinch point along the A14 route to and from Felixstowe.

Representatives from Wherstead parish council and the Stour & Orwell Society expressed their concerns to planning committee meetings via virtual means, and the hearing was available to watch on YouTube.

Stour ward member Mary McLaren voted in favour of the application along with Cllrs Lee Parker, Stephen Plumb, Sue Ayres and committee chairman Peter Beer.

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