New 24-hour McDonald’s fast food drive-thru set for land off Paula Radcliffe Way

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McDonald’s and Bedford Borough Council have teamed up to apply for planning permission to build a new fast-food drive-thru restaurant on the outskirts of town.

The 0.34-hectare site off Cut Throat Lane near the Paula Radcliffe Way and Clapham Road roundabout is a former gypsy and traveller site that the borough council had earmarked to use as a park and ride.

“The site has been vacant for many years, providing no substantial benefit to the community; it is believed this application will significantly change that,” say background documents submitted to planners at the council.

“As this site is located within a developing area of the town, that when complete will be a hub of activity attracting many employees and visitors into the development, it is imperative that there are some restaurant facilities to service not only visitors of the site, but also those travelling around the site, to attract them in.”

Brownhill Hayward Brown Architects and Cerda Planning Consultants, have applied for permission on behalf of Bedford Borough Council and McDonald’s as a joint application.

Scores of pages have been submitted to the council’s own planning officers outlining the case for the development, which sits next to a new brewery and ALDI and Sainsbury’s supermarkets in the fast-developing Fairhill area of town.

The background papers say that it is expected that the single-storey restaurant would open next year (2022) and operate 24 hours Monday to Sunday.

It would employ around 65-100 staff with up to 20 on-site at any one time.

The applicants have also detailed everything from McDonald’s policies on energy efficiency, buying from British and Irish farms, dealing with litter, the company’s community policies and how they stop anti-social behaviour.

The application is now on the Bedford Borough Council planning website and open for public comments, with a date of June 8 for a decision to be made.

McDonald’s has been trading in the UK since 1974 and now has more than 1,280 restaurants across the UK with a 125,000 workforce, say papers supplied in support of the application.

by David Tooley
Local Democracy Reporter

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