McDonald’s plans for Westhill face opposition

The site for the proposed restaurant is at the junction of Venture Drive and Straik Road
The site for the proposed restaurant is at the junction of Venture Drive and Straik Road

Residents have condemned plans for a new drive-thru McDonald’s on the outskirts of Westhill.

The global chain wants to build the 24-hour restaurant at the junction of Venture Drive and Straik Road.

It is expected to employ more than 65 full and part-time staff, primarily from the local area.

But some local people claim there is no need for the restaurant and that McDonald’s is simply making a speculative application to take advantage of Aberdeen Football Club’s new Kingsford Stadium.

Construction work on the nearby Kingsford facilities got under way during the summer.

In a supporting statement, however, McDonald’s says: “The company has recently been undertaking a thorough review of its portfolio of restaurants and is seeking to increase its representation in certain key locations.

“At the same time, McDonald’s has implemented a major brand refresh, both in terms of its product range and the design and fit-out of its restaurants. This application forms part of that overall strategy.”

Hitting back, local people have criticised the plans, claiming no “proven deficiency” in terms of local services within the area has been identified and that the restaurant would have a potentially damaging impact on existing local businesses in Westhill.

They also say the application does not accord with ‘town centre first’ policy as there are available sites within existing local centres which could accommodate this development.

In an objection to Aberdeenshire Council’s planning department, one resident writes: “It is not appropriate to place such a development at this location because of the poor pedestrian access and impact on the A944.

“The development would likely be attractive to school children from the academy and no safe crossing is available.

“The Westhill Capacity Study prepared for Aberdeenshire Council makes it clear that without significant improvements in roads infrastructure, Westhill is at capacity and that further development should be halted.”

McDonald’s application comes on the back of proposals being submitted for a  24-hour drive-thru Starbucks coffee shop at the Arnhall Business Park also on the outskirts of Westhill.

Davaar Property Group say at least 20 full-time and part-time jobs would be created if the development gets the green light.