By Bridie Adams

THE controversial plan to build a new McDonald’s at the edge of a Herefordshire town has been rejected unanimously by councillors.

The proposed restaurant and drive-through takeaway on the roundabout junction of the A40 and A449 in Ross-on-Wye has not been granted planning permission following debate from the Herefordshire County planning committee.

The plan, revised and resubmitted a year ago, saw a huge number of submissions to the planning consultations, with 450 individual messages backing the plan, and nearly 400 against it.


While planning officers recommended approval, the Ross-on-Wye neighbourhood town recommended that the plan was rejected.

Councillor Toni Fagan also proposed that the council rejected the plans due to her concerns about congestion, air quality and the impact on the local community. This proposal was supported by all the councillors at the planning committee.

Opposing the plans, Debbie Hall, a local resident and part of the St Mary’s Garden Village Action Group, said: “With one million visits per year, this application would cause disruption to homeowners and affect the mental and physical health of residents due to noise, smell, litter, CO2 emissions and rodents. There is no reason for a drive-through on a housing estate.”

Ms Hall went on to read a statement from Edenstone, the developers of the estate, who said: “We met with a legal representative from McDonald’s and told them our support would not be forthcoming.”


Councillor Chris Bartram acknowledged that the proposal was a “highly controversial application” and that the site was “very sensitive”.

“The proposed McDonald’s should be resisted,” he said. “I very much hope that my fellow councillors agree that Ross-on-Wye, and Herefordshire as a whole, deserves better than this.”

Prior to the decision, a spokesperson for McDonald’s said: “We are pleased to see our proposal has support locally. This would create at least 120 jobs for local people. We invest in staff training and provide nationally recognised foundation degrees and apprenticeships. We are excited to invest in Ross-on-Wye in the long term.”

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