Big Macs off the menu in Mans­field

No KFC or Hun­gry Jacks com­ing to town but Mac­cas do­ing pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By PAM ZIERKMAHON­EY & RHYLL McCORMACK

NO big fast food fran­chises are com­ing to Mans­field.

At least ‘not yet’ is the an­swer the Courier re­ceived from all of the larger fast food out­lets in­clud­ing McDon­ald’s, KFC and Hun­gry Jacks.

Foll ow­ing on from last week’s st ory and f ull page advertisem­ent where lo­cal doc­tors voiced their con­cerns on fast f oods and obe­sity l evels, a l ong with ru­mors t hat a fast food chain would open i n Mans­field, t he Courier again sought an­swers once and f or all and i t is a re­sound­ing no from KFC and Hun­gry Jacks.

How­ever, a spokesper­son for McDon­ald’s said the multi-na­tional is look­ing at Mans­field, but at this stage no land had been pur­chased and the com­pany was only do­ing pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

McDon­ald’s con­firmed that “we iden­tify po­ten­tial sites based on a num­ber of rea­sons - in­clud­ing ac­cess to ma­jor thor­ough­fares, pop­u­la­tion growth and lo­cal de­mand”.

When pressed to de­fine their ex­act re­quire­ments in a prospec­tive lo­ca­tion, McDon­ald’s de­clined to com­ment fur­ther.

Mans­field Shire Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, David Roff, con­firmed that no ap­pli­ca­tions had been made to coun­cil for such a fa­cil­ity.

The doc­tors were also ask­ing that Mans­field Shire Coun­cil con­sider chang­ing its plan­ning rules to pro­hibit larger fran­chise stores be­ing de­vel­oped within the town.

Mr Roff said a push to have plan­ning laws changed to stop any such fran­chise open­ing would be very dif­fi­cult.

“In or­der to pro­hibit a use in a zone, firstly this would ap­ply to any use de­fined as ‘restau­rant/ take away food premises’ - re­gard­less of who the pro­po­nent was,” Mr Roff said.

“Be­fore coun­cil could pre­pare an amend­ment to the scheme, State Govern­ment would need to sup­port it.

“Given t he broad i mpact such an amend­ment may have we think this would be dif­fi­cult to achieve.”

Mr Roff did com­ment though that un­der coun­cil’s Health and Well­be­ing Plan there was men­tion made of sta­tis­tics in this area on eat­ing pat­terns of lo­cal res­i­dents.

“At the end of the day there are these is­sues (ed­u­cat­ing res­i­dents on bet­ter liv­ing and eat­ing) to­gether with those which al­low for businesses to op­er­ate un­der the plan­ning scheme pro­vi­sions,” Mr Roff said.

A pe­ti­tion be­ing cir­cu­lated around the Mans­field Shire, in­clud­ing out­ly­ing ar­eas, has gained more than 4000 sig­na­tures at this stage.

The pe­ti­tion is ex­pected to be pre­sented to coun­cil in the near fu­ture, how­ever, Mr Roff said he had not been ad­vised as to when this was likely to take place.

Fran­chise op­er­a­tions Red Rooster and Pizza Hut did not re­spond to our en­quiries be­fore go­ing to print.

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