Plans for McDonald’s drive-thru in Durham City

By Anna Tatham

Proposals have been submitted for a McDonald’s restaurant at St Andrew’s Park, part of Dragonville Industrial Estate, Durham City.

If approved by Durham County Council, the restaurant would comprise a single unit 376 sqm gross floorspace and include a single storey drive-thru and car park with 234 spaces.

A McDonald’s spokesperson has said: “The proposed drive-thru restaurant in Durham will create at least 65 new full and part-time jobs.”

“It’s about time Durham got a McDonald’s really, in a city full of students we’re always going to appreciate cheap fast food.”

The current CEO of Mcdonald’s, Steve Easterbrook, was a student at Durham University.

Easterbrook studied Natural Sciences at St Chad’s College before going on to become the CEO of Pizza Express and Wagamamas.

In a report submitted to the local authority by Lichfields, planning advisor to Angel Developments, it states: “Whilst there is a KFC drive-thru restaurant and Pizza Hut at Durham City Retail Park, the choice of national food and beverage operators serving the eastern side of Durham city is limited.

“The proposed restaurant on the St Andrew’s Park application site would therefore increase the range and choice of provision available to local residents and generate linked trips with the new bulky goods retail uses.”

Around 2,600 sqm of the site has been previously developed with units including Kwik Fit, Pennine Windows and Floors 4 You.

In a separate application, Angel Developments has lodged proposals for three additional units of retail development between Dragon Lane and McIntyre Way.

Occupiers have not yet been found, however, it is reported they will be bulk goods retailers selling DIY goods, furniture, flooring and electricals.

Daniel Gregg, Senior Planner at Lichfields said: “These types of retail units cannot realistically be accommodated in Durham City centre, due to existing physical and heritage constraints, and are ideal for a location such as this.”

In its impact statement, Lichfields argued that neither the restaurants nor units would have a negative impact on existing businesses in the local area.

“The majority of the comparison goods trade diversion would be from facilities which are unrelated to existing centres and/or located outside of the local area – reflecting the nature of the likely operators and the limited bulky goods offer within such centres.”

Elizabeth Thornton-Kaye, a St Aidan’s student who studies Spanish and French has said: “I’d say it’s about time Durham got a McDonald’s really, in a city full of students we’re always going to appreciate cheap fast food.

“If anything it’ll probably improve Gilesgate’s reputation as being in the middle of nowhere.”

Photographs: Mike Mozart via Flickr, Google Maps

@annatatha

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