Express & Star

McDonald's plan for once-popular Buffet Island near Walsall attracts more than 100 objections

More than 100 objections have been lodged against turning the once-popular Buffet Island restaurant near Walsall into a McDonald’s.

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The fast food giant wants to creating 120 jobs by converting the vacant site in Queslett Road in Pheasey, Great Barr, into a drive-through.

Walsall Council’s planning committee is set to discuss the designs after officers have recommended granting approval for the development subject to conditions and a travel plan being agreed.

A report to the committee said the scheme has attracted strong opposition with 110 individual objections including concerns over ‘an increase in rubbish and litter, anti-social behaviour, traffic congestions, pedestrian safety, accidents, noise nuisance, smells, increase in crime, air quality, vermin and a McDonald’s already being open nearby’.

But the proposal has attracted some support with one resident saying: “This former Buffet Island site is an absolute disgrace to this community.

“It has been left to rot, is in a disgusting state of disrepair and is a constant attraction for trouble, vandals, and general unpleasant behaviour, for which the police are often necessary.

“The council have a duty of care to the people of Pheasey to stop this and improve this huge site for local residents, and I believe McDonald's would in part do this by improving the current site and continuing to be responsible for its upkeep.”

As a result the application was ‘called in’ for discussion by Pheasey ward councillor Adrian Andrew on the grounds of the significant public interest which requires consideration.

The committee report stated: “It has been demonstrated that the proposed development is of an acceptable overall appearance, would not result in harm to the natural or built environment.

“On balance it is considered the proposal would not result in an undue impact upon the amenity of occupiers. The proposal would not result in harm to the safety or operation of the highway network subject to the conditions as set out.”

McDonald’s said if granted permission the new enterprise will represent a multi-million investment, whilst bringing 120 full and part-time jobs to the area.

The landowner installed concrete barriers after travellers set up camp in the grounds more than once last year.

As well as the restaurant itself, there will also be 46 car parking spaces, a bike stand for up to 10 cycles, a children’s play area and electric charging points.

The venue operated as a Chinese restaurant for around 15 years before closing in 2020. Prior to that the building operated as a public house and was known as Schofields and then The Trees.

The committee will discuss the application on June 20.