Big Macs off the menu in Mansfield
No KFC or Hungry Jacks coming to town but Maccas doing preliminary investigations
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.