Res­i­dents op­pose 24-hour McDon­ald’s pro­posal

Central Leader - - NEWS - By SARAH ROBERTS and LAWRENCE SMITH

Op­po­si­tion to a pro­posed 24-hour drive-through McDon­ald’s in Te Atatu Penin­sula is heat­ing up.

The fast-food gi­ant 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 24-7 – 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 change.org web­site.

Around 1430 peo­ple have signed so far – in­clud­ing some from the US.

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 to speak and says he op­poses the plan.

‘‘It doesn’t fit in with our other owner-op­er­ated stores in the vil­lage.’’

An ac­tion group has set up a Face­book page called ‘‘ No 24hr Drive Thru in Te Atatu Penin­sula’’ and a group of pen­sion­ers is equally vo­cal. The el­derly res­i­dents, who live in houses di­rectly be­hind the site, say they won’t be able to sleep if the plan is ap­proved be­cause of the noise and head­lights from cars shin­ing into bed­rooms.

But not ev­ery­one is op­posed.

Bar­bara Wild, a teacher and a mother of five grownup chil­dren, says she will be happy if a McDon­ald’s is built in the sub­urb.

‘‘It of­fers con­ve­nient and healthy op­tions for peo­ple, has play­grounds for the chil­dren and the build­ings look good.’’

The com­plex is un­der con­struc­tion and will also in­clude cafes, child­care and gym fa­cil­i­ties. A sign out­side the 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 re­tail com­plex un­der con­struc­tion on Te Atatu Rd could in­clude a 24-hour McDon­ald’s if re­source con­sent is granted. Res­i­dents ob­ject to the 24-hour pro­posal.

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