McDonald's gets green light to bulldoze former Brownhills police station for drive-thru

Fast food chain McDonald's has been given the green light to bulldoze the former Brownhills Police Station and build drive-thru in its place.

The former Brownhills Police Station building in Chester Road North, Brownhills. Photo: Google Maps
The former Brownhills Police Station building in Chester Road North, Brownhills. Photo: Google Maps

Despite some residents' fears over noise, Walsall Council's planning committee approved the plans for the Chester Road North former station which closed eight years ago as part of police cost-cutting measures.

But the permission was given on condition that opening times will be between 6am to 11pm, instead of a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation.

The scheme attracted 293 letters of support from people in the area, saying it will bring jobs and boost the town's fortunes, but a further 40 objected on grounds that the business will attract anti-social behaviour.

Neighbouring resident, Mr Golding, told the meeting on Thursday that a 'relax area' in his garden would be just five feet away from queues of cars visiting the restaurant which will be open all day.

Brownhills ward representative Councillor Stephen Craddock said: "There is a lot of support for the proposal in the town. I am going to support it too, but I'm concerned for the residents in Bradford Road as their situation will deteriorate.

"I would like to see a 3.2 metre acoustic fence put up the neighbouring properties. Just across the fence the gentleman who came to speak on the scheme is going to be hearing people ordering their food and saying, 'can I have a Big Mac' all day long."

Representing McDonald's, John Robson told the meeting that the chain was delighted with the community's reaction to the scheme.

"This is pleasing to get almost 300 letters of support. We really hope to be able to make a positive contribution.

"McDonald's hopes to create 65 jobs locally and this number will probably rise to 100 although in reality we would not want to over state situations."

Mr Robson told the meeting that the company was prepared to raise the height of the proposed acoustic fencing which would replace the existing line of conifers bordering the site and neighbouring homes.

McDonald's lodged plans for a 24-hour operation, the sale of food and drink for the consumption on and off the premises, seating area for approximately 90, and deliveries three times per week lasting 15-45 minutes.

The committee voted to approve the scheme with conditions including that it open 6am-11pm daily, the rear acoustic boundary fence should be 3.2 metres in height, that the chain be requested to plant seven trees at a site to be agreed in the community to replace the conifers.

Objections included that the site was "inappropriate for use" due to being surrounded by residential properties, increased traffic levels and congestion, fears over litter and odour.

The former station has remained empty since closure in 2014. It was put on the market for £650,000 before being snapped up by the chain.

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