Plea to put fast food restaurant on menu

A Hawick councillor has urged government ministers to make a rapid decision over a bid to site a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in the town.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 9:31 am
Councillor Stuart Marshall at the Commercial Road site. (PIC: BILL McBURNIE)

Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee granted approval back in January for the famous restaurant chain to build a new drive-through outlet in Commercial Road.

The move would also facilitate the relocation of the town’s B&M store to an adjoining site.

However, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) objected to the application on the grounds of flood risk and the bid was passed on to Scottish ministers for final approval.

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Problems accessing the site to carry out necessary tests have since been caused by social distancing rules.

But Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall believes the continued delay risked the town losing a ‘golden economic opportunity’.

He has written to the government urging a quick decision to end the uncertainty.

Mr Marshall said: “Townsfolk and constituents are quite rightly constantly asking me if Hawick is getting a McDonald’s and indeed if and when the B&M store is to be relocated.

“Obviously I have no intention of prejudicing any decision-making and government ministers are absolutely right to have cognizance of the advice from Sepa but our town can’t just stand still.

“We already have permitted development on either side of the site and a massive flood protection scheme already under construction, only yards away, so I too find it difficult to accept any issues that may be presented about flood risks.

“The council, most councillors and indeed the community have all but thrown their weight behind these proposals, so in my opinion a positive outcome would be hugely welcomed by our community. I fully respect that ministers have massive pressures placed upon them during these unprecedented times but I also think it’s important we don’t let a golden opportunity slip us by.”