McDonald’s planned to add a new dual-lane window which would serve an additional 14 people at one time but a council has rejected plans angering locals
McDonald’s fans have been left furious after a council banned plans for a new new drive-thru – because they think residents are already too fat.
Plans to build a “super-size” drive-thru in Sydney, Australia were rejected by health bosses as they blamed local obesity rates.
Local residents have been left less than impressed after the local council in Cremorne are refusing plans to add a new dual-lane window to serve 14 extra people at one time.
The health authorities argue the added lanes would increase obesity in the area but McDonald’s claim the move was to keep up with people’s eating habits as more people prefer to pick up their food and eat it in the car.
Rather than adding to the restaurant inside McDonald’s believe that since the pandemic more people want to eat on the go or by themselves – especially with the rise in working from home.
The £315,000 addition would see car parking spaces reduce from 35 to 26 as the outdoor terrace would be replaced and 22 outdoor seats axed – along with a small refurb inside the restaurant.
However, North Sydney Local Health District believe the redevelopment and an increase lane would raise “health impacts” including higher obesity rates.
They admitted: “There is a concern that increasing accessibility to fast food, via an expanded drive-through, may negatively influence the eating habits of children and adults, and undermine existing population health strategies to tackle obesity.
“Data from the Australian Urban Observatory shows that Cremorne already has more than adequate access to fast food.
“Providing greater access to fast food via an expanded, dual lane drive-through is unlikely to result in positive population health outcomes.”
Andrew Wheeler and Mary McCafferty, senior manager with the Health District, believe the drive-thru addition would see residents less likely to take up cycling and walking.
In addition, the close proximity of the chain next to a local health center which provide disability health support is a concern for health authorities.
The Health District said: “Accordingly, the centre’s vulnerable persons may not be able to park in the vicinity of the center to attend their health appointments and this may lead to vulnerable persons’ declining health.”
However, residents are deeply unhappy with the decision as statistics show the local obesity rate of their town is said to be 19 percent in adults – significantly below the state’s average of 33 percent.
McDonald’s argue they had introduced more healthy options for customers and the majority of their eatery’s had dual lane drive-thrus.
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “McDonald’s has been part of the Cremorne community for more than 40 years. We are reinvesting into the restaurant to make it more accessible and convenient for our customers and crew.
“Throughout the pandemic, we experienced a considerable increase in drive-through numbers. An additional lane will improve efficiency and reduce traffic congestion for our customers.
“In the last two years there has been an increase in transactions in the drive through of 8.3 per cent which has been offset by a reduction in over-the-counter sales.
“The second drive-through lane will substantially increase the queuing capacity of the operation and provide a second point of order and will minimize the queuing impact on the internal car parking area, reducing congestion and reliance on car parking.”