AN MP has slammed the decision to allow a fast food outlet to serve burgers around the clock.
Planning permission for McDonald’s, on Dewsbury Road, to operate 24 hours a day was granted yesterday for a 12-month trial period.
The restaurant will trade only through its ‘drive-thru’ system between midnight and 5am while the indoor seating area is closed.
But MP Mary Creagh said it would not be beneficial for Wakefield, which was found to have higher than average obesity rates last year.
She said: “The whole concept of ‘drive-thru’ fast food outlets and people eating Big Macs and chips behind their steering wheels is the opposite of everything that is good for us – freshly cooked food eaten round a table.”
Objectors to the plan said they fear the extended opening hours will attract anti-social behaviour and extra litter at the site, which is directly opposite a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly.
In a letter of objection written to Wakefield Council, resident Sue Adams said: “We will have cars using the car park as a meeting place, increasing the noise to neighbouring houses overnight.
“We will see increased litter and debris. We already have a rat problem in this area due to the food being left on the floor overnight in the car park in this area.”
But McDonald’s franchisee Anne Wainwright said new security cameras were installed this week, giving the entire site CCTV coverage.
She added a litter management programme would be in place. She said: “We don’t want trouble either, so if we start getting it I will be reviewing things myself.
“We don’t tend to get problems during the night and I am not expecting any now.”
Ms Wainwright said up to 10 new jobs could be created for the new opening hours.
She also confirmed that customers arriving at the ‘drive-thru’ window on foot or on bikes would be turned away.
Last year, a study on obesity prompted a council watchdog to suggest bringing in legislation to limit the number of takeaways in the city.