Residents Angry Over Plans To Build McDonald's In Only County Without One
Rutland, which is England's smallest county if you're interested, has never been home to one of the 1,249 Maccies restaurants in the UK but now council bosses are considering a planning application for a Drive-Thru in the town of Oakham.
And it turns out that a lot of residents aren't happy about the idea of having one of their doorsteps, with some saying the Golden Arches aren't in keeping with the traditions of the historic market town.
Resident David Taylor, who lives in Oakham, said: "For years we've proudly boasted that we're the only county in England without a McDonald's.
"It a shame the council have bowed to the big corporations. It doesn't suit our town and our way of living. It will be an eyesore and attract the wrong sort of people.
"I guarantee once it opens, we'll have a KFC and a Burger King next. I worry for our children's health as a result."
While another resident, Peter Davies, 83, said: "My son used to work for McDonald's, so I know quite a lot about them. I don't think we really need it."
Sarah Tibbetts, 40, also from Oakham, added: "I think it's really sad.
"Rutland is the only county in England without one. I don't think it's necessary.
"There should be recreation for children, not fast food."
But not all of the town's 39,500 residents aren't unhappy - 72-year-old Larry Cobley said: "I'm for it. We haven't got much in the way of fast food and there's only a Domino's in town."
Might be able to treat yourself to a Big Mac soon, Larry.
Patsy Clifton, who is also in favour, said: "I think it's a good thing. I wouldn't eat there but it's the young ones that like McDonald's.
"It's on the by-pass so it's not going to create any traffic in the town centre.
"McDonald's are pretty good at keeping their sites clean.
"I don't see it as a problem."
At a council meeting a number of residents spoke out against the proposal, citing concerns about littering, opening hours and drainage.
Members of Oakham Town Council voted seven for, one against and three abstaining to write to Rutland County Council giving support to the application.
Oakham Mayor and town council chairman David Romney said: "It is always good to see democracy in action, and I am delighted that several members of the public came here tonight to make their points and witness the debate.
"Clearly, we are only consultees for the application, but we are sure that Rutland County Council will want to know that Oakham Town Council has given this matter full consideration and has made its recommendation to them.
"The next step will be for Rutland County Council to make its formal decision on the application."
A spokesman for Rutland County Council said: "The planning application that has been submitted for a new McDonald's restaurant in Oakham is still being considered as part of the statutory planning process and a recommendation has not yet been made.
"We are unable to confirm when this application will be determined by our planning committee until consultation is complete and all the necessary information has been received and properly considered by Planning Officers."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS