Furious Aberdeen residents have voiced their concerns over plans for a new McDonald’s drive-thru in the city saying it could have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on emergency services.
The global fast food giant has applied to the city council in a bid to build a new restaurant on the site of the former Rosehill Day Centre.
If the plans are given the go-ahead the building on Ashgrove Road West would be demolished to make way for the new drive-thru.
So far 43 local residents have objected to the proposal.
Carl Elliot said the new drive-thru would have a “catastrophic” impact on the Scottish Ambulance Service as their station is located across the road from the proposed site.
He said: “Any congestion along Ashgrove Road West, but particularly at the junction with Anderson Drive will have the impact of delaying the ambulance service.
“In a role where seconds and minutes can have a significant impact on the outcomes for patients, permitting the development of this drive-thru restaurant could contribute to an otherwise preventable death.”
Mr Elliot also raised concerns about the increase in litter and said it could attract unwanted pests to the area.
He said: “Locally there are issues with nuisance caused by rats, gulls and foxes. Permitted development would only amplify these issues, causing more distress to those living locally.”
He also suggested that the site could have been transformed into a “vibrant community hub” instead.
Resident James Stewart lives near the proposed site and said the new McDonald’s would have a “detrimental impact on the health and education of the many young children and families who reside in this residential area and the wider population at large”.
He said he was worried about the close distance between the fast food restaurant to Northfield Academy and Cornhill School and added: “McDonald’s will certainly cause a massive negative impact on the overall wellbeing of the children.”
Meanwhile he raised concerns about the impact the famous name would have on local businesses in the area.
He said that jobs created at the new restaurant “will be at the expense of these smaller businesses in the food and hospitality sector”.
He added: “These small local businesses are currently trying desperately to survive and to get back on their feet after the disastrous effects of the pandemic, and if these smaller businesses close this will create redundancies and increase unemployment levels.”
Alistair Robertshaw also lives nearby and said: “Locating a fast food restaurant alongside Aberdeen’s main hospital raises ethical questions.”
He also said the new drive-thru would bring “additional traffic, potentially throughout 24 hours, to an area which already has some fundamental traffic management problems”.
Tomasz Fengler said he was “absolutely shocked with the idea” and branded it “ridiculous” while Emma Robb said the new restaurant would be “a hive for anti-social behaviour”.
Aberdeen Civic Society also slammed the plans and said: “It will diminish the current environmental quality in a residential area by increasing air pollution due to more car traffic, introducing fast food litter and by the extensive removal of mature trees.
“Permitting the development of the site for this purpose would run counter to the council’s own policies of encouraging active travel and reducing vehicular journeys within Aberdeen, in service of the larger objective of meeting carbon-reduction goals.”
However three residents have written to the local authority in support of the development.
Brian Cowie welcomed the application saying that it would bring “plenty jobs and opportunities”.
Melissa Henderson said the restaurant would “save on deliveries or having to go to town for a takeaway” while David Gibson noted it would be “good to have a place open close to home early in the morning for a nice coffee before work”.
The building was formerly a centre for autistic adults, but Aberdeen City Council put it on the market after an improved £4.3 million replacement opened in 2017.
It was most recently used as a Covid testing centre during the pandemic.
If the plan is approved, it would be the fast food chain’s sixth restaurant in the city.