Plans to build a McDonald’s drive-thru at Hardengreen have split local opinion, with concerns raised about litter and traffic issues.
Others welcome the plans to open a new McDonald’s south-east of the petrol station in the Tesco car park. A McDonald’s spokesman said the new drive-thru would create at least 65 full and part-time jobs.
Eskbank and Newbattle Community Council chairman Bill Kerr-Smith revealed that while there has been a backlash to the plans, he has also heard support for the proposals. He said: “It’s going to be complicated, we as a community council will need to have more discussions. The comments on our Facebook page are overwhelmingly against it. But the community council talking about it, we are all of the opinion that a lot of people are going to be happy with a McDonald’s at Hardengreen.
“We might simply have to note that Tesco might have to lose parking spaces. And we will be losing the recycling area as well it would seem.
“I don’t think we will put in a formal objection, but that’s not a decision we have reached just yet. We have got a draft out to members of the community council to see what they think about it. There are genuine concerns about parking and traffic congestion.”
Mr Kerr-Smith’s group will submit a response to the application by mid-January. He added: “It would make much more sense to work with McDonald’s to minimise litter as it’s bound to be a problem.
“People have also raised concerns about youths hanging about the car park, but in my view there is potential for improvement in terms of public disorder as it would be somewhere for them to go. It’s got ups and downs like everything. For the people next door it’s a blight, and for the people of Dalkeith it’s a boon.”
Mr Kerr-Smith added that his group had also written to Tesco to suggest a community meeting with the supermarket and McDonald’s to discuss “how we can best ensure that the development does not lead to the potential negative impacts that people are so concerned about”.
Bonnyrigg Community Council chairwoman Marnie Crawford added: “We have concerns in Bonnyrigg that it will attract kids to loiter along the walkway from Bonnyrigg, the litter and the likelihood that it could become inhibiting for people who use that walkway to access Tesco.”
A spokesman for McDonald’s said: “We look forward to working with the council on our plans. If approved the restaurant would create at least 65 full and part-time jobs and bring significant investment to the local community.
“Wherever we operate we have a commitment to be a good neighbour, and play our part in tackling litter. As part of this, our restaurant teams carry out at least three litter patrols a day, picking up all rubbish, not just packaging originating from our restaurant.
“In addition, our restaurant teams regularly work with anti-litter charities to organise hundreds of community revitalisation projects with thousands of volunteers every year.”