Residents oppose 24-hour McDonald’s drive through

McDonald'sResidents in the Auckland suburb of  Te Atatu Peninsula are voicing opposition to a proposed 24 hour McDonald’s drive though.

McDonald’s plans to operate at an old BP petrol station site on 543 Te Atatu Rd among a cluster of other outlets that will be allowed to stay open until 10pm.

But it is now applying for resource consent to serve customers around the clock, which is raising the hackles of immediate neighbours who fear the move will infringe on their lifestyles.

Auckland Council has yet to decide whether to publicly notify the application and therefore give residents the chance to air their views before a decision is made.

It is being pressured to do so by the authors of a petition on the website.

Over 1400 people have signed so far, including some from the US.

The outlet would be part of a larger retail development of six stores.

McDonald’s says it has a lease with the developer that is conditional on it achieving a suitable consent from the council.

“The developer is working through the council process, which is ongoing,” it says. “As with any potential new restaurant we are sensitive to the communities in which we operate.”

There are 104 McDonald’s outlets that operate 24 hours across New Zealand, some only on Fridays and Saturdays, while others are seven days a week.

Auckland Council western resource consenting manager, David Oakhill, says an independent duty commissioner has been appointed to decide if the consent will be notified.

“The officer is waiting on further information from the applicant before he can make his recommendation,” Oakhill says.

Concerned resident, Chris Burton, is among those hoping residents will be given the chance speak and says he opposes the plan.

“It doesn’t fit in with our other owner-operated stores in the village,” he says.

An action group has also set up a Facebook page called “No 24hr Drive Thru in Te Atatu Peninsula” and a group of neighbouring pensioners is equally vocal.

The elderly residents live in a group of houses directly behind the potential site.

They say they won’t be able to sleep if the plan is approved because of the noise and headlights from cars shining into their nearby bedrooms.

Penny Judd, whose house is on the border of the development, said they’ve been told a soundproof fence will be put up when the retail complex is built.

“Whether that happens is another question. My bedroom is on the boundary so there will be noise from the traffic and rubbish over the fence,” she said.

But not everyone is opposed. Barbara Wild, a teacher and a mother of five grown up children, says she will be happy if a McDonald’s is built in the suburb.

“I think it’s a great idea. Children love McDonald’s and older people can use their gold cards to get coffee. It offers convenient and healthy options for people, has playgrounds for the children and the buildings look good,” Wild said.

The complex is under construction and will also include  a selection of cafes, and childcare and gym facilities that are planned to open from 0700 till 2200.

A sign outside the building development says it is expected to be “completed late 2015”.

Waitakere councillor, Linda Cooper, has written to concerned residents saying the council is happy to receive letters on the matter and share them with its hearings committee.

A McDonald’s in Pt Chevalier was granted resource consent to operate 24 hours, seven days a week, in 2011.

Opponents also feared it would negatively affect the community.


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