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McDonald's at Minster services granted 24 hour opening with conditions

By Katie Davis

McDonald's has won a bid to open one of its restaurants for 24 hours despite a huge backlash from locals.

Villagers in Minster had hit back at the application complaining of anti-social behaviour and littering problems, including burgers shoved through letterboxes and ketchup splattered over cars.

The Tothill Street branch already operates a 24 hour drive thru, but was yesterday granted permission to open its restaurant all night too.

Minster service McDonald's. Pic: Google maps
Minster service McDonald's. Pic: Google maps

The council's licensing sub-committee agreed the application with conditions saying: "Having heard from the licensing officer, members of the public and the applicant, the sub-committee noted concerns of anti-social behaviour, litter, vandalism, congregation at McDonalds, and it appeared that there were also breaches of conditions of the licence previously.

"But the sub-committee also noted that the applicant had stated that the application would deal with littering, not allow youths to congregate, always have a staff manager on site, receipts would be kept in bags overnight and notices would be placed in car park entrances."

The grant means the current restaurant hours of 5am until 11pm will be scrapped and changed to a full day and night service.

The application was granted subject to conditions set out by Kent Police. These are:

  • CCTV is installed,working and recording with a 30-day record function and copies to be made to police or local authority upon request.
  • At all times there will be one member of staff on duty who can operate and download any requested CCTV.
  • WiFi will be turned off between the hours of 11pm and 5am.
  • Any group of three or more people between 11pm and 5am will only be permitted 30 minutes within the premises.
  • Staff ensure the car park is monitored and walked for clearing discarded rubbish once every hour, between 11pm and 5am.
  • Signage to express respect for neighbours and village.
  • Two body-worn videos to be made available. One to be positioned at the drive through window and one behind the counter, which will be used when dealing with unwelcome behaviour.
  • No alcohol will be allowed on any part of the McDonalds site,inside and outside at any time.
  • The receipts from all sales between 11pm and 5am will be placed inside a bag and staff will support in identifying any person or vehicle which discards receipts via CCTV.

But application grant also notes that if there are any future incidents concerning nuisance then the licence may be subject to review.

It's certain that many locals won't be 'lovin' it' as the application had seen a storm of backlash.

Dozens of letters were sent to the council requesting the application was denied, and even that hours were reduced in some.

One Tothill Street resident spoke of burgers being pushed through letterboxes, people urinating in their driveway and milkshake and ketchup being thrown over a car.

The resident added: "I know these behaviours are all carried out by people going up to McDonald's as when it was closed for refurbishment it all stopped and I was able to sleep undisturbed with the windows open."

The police had also opposed the application.

Chief officer of police Sharon Adley said: "This application is not being supported by the police.

"The police have concerns about his application as there is already evidence that the premises have an anti-social behaviour issue in its current situation.

"This application is to allow the opening of the whole premises for 24 hours.

"By supporting the premises to be open inside the restaurant will add more concerns to this location.

"This will only fuel further issues by allowing the problems that have been situated outside to transcend inside."

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