McDONALD’S TAKEAWAY ON WESTOW STREET COULD BE OPEN 24/7 (major debate on social media over plans)

Restaurant chain McDonalds appear to be planning 24/7 opening hours for their proposed new takeaway in the former Living Water Satisfies restaurant on Westow Street.

A revised application has been submitted to Croydon council for consideration: Change of use from A3 (restaurant) to A5 (takeaway). New shopfront to be installed with a digital window poster sited behind the shopfront glazing. New storage and parking area to the rear. Installation of new plant equipment on the roof.

Nowhere in the application are planned opening hours for Westow Street actually specified. 

On the application form to Croydon council, one question asks: Are Hours of Opening relevant to this proposal? The answer given is ‘No’

The revised application has sparked a wave of debate on the Crystal Palace Local Facebook page. (Please see below).

A consultants planning statement accompanying the planning application to Croydon at 3.2 says McDonald’s restaurants ideally operate 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, “although there is some flexibility where specific amenity issues dictate otherwise.”

At 6.3 the statement adds: “Couriers will park to the rear in the designated area and walk to staff only door. “This has been designed to specifically avoid a conflict between couriers and the public.”

A noise impact assessment  report by consultants says the nearest residential neighbours are not on Westow Street itself, where the floors over the shops all appear to be commercial, but to the side of the rear car park, where No. 2 Hayes Lane is the closet (sic) house, some 30m from the corner of the roof. (News From Crystal Palace reckons there are two residential properties actually nearer – including number 1 Haynes Lane – Ed.)

“The noise created by delivery scooters, which will park up at the rear of the store, in the delivery yard area and enter via a rear door to pick up their food deliveries has also been considered” the noise impact assessment continues. “Deliveries by scooter are not expected to exceed nine per hour during the busiest night time hour (midnight to 1am) at the weekend.

“The noise created by the nine scooters has also been predicted at the upstairs windows of No. 2 Haynes Lane and compared with the surveyed existing sound levels. “This has shown than even in the quietest early hours of the morning the coming and going of nine scooters will have no significant effect on the levels at this property, and any impact will therefore also be negligible.”

The report adds that while some deliveries will be made by motorbikes and scooters “the majority will be by pedal bikes.”

Citing noise figures the report says “assuming the restaurant operates through the night”. McDonald’s meals will be available for home delivery by Uber Eats, it adds.

The application has caused major debate on Crystal Palace Local Facebook: Comments (some of which recall fond memories of the former McDonald’s on Westow Hill where Kinleigh Folkard and Hayward estate agents now stands) include the following:

My main issue with the application is the 24hrs takeaway part tbh. It will be chaos there at pub closing time at the weekends.
That and the mopeds zipping up and down Haynes Lane all night will make life a misery for the residents. If it was to close at 9-10pm I wouldn’t particularly be bothered about it, imho it could bring people to the triangle and increase footfall for the other traders.

There are no toilets in the plans for customers. There is no general customer seating and tables. There may be three seats. The lack of any customer loos is significant as the planning application changes the hours of opening to 24 hours for the site, and there will not be any other available loos overnight nearby.

At the peak hour in Penge McD yesterday (that’s 24 hours operation and does deliveries) there were about 25 to 30 active orders ongoing over the peak hour, with similar numbers waiting inside… and many of them using the loos.

Most customers by car were seen parking on double yellows and chose to park nearer illegally rather than on available parking areas further away. Generally for Westow Street there is less permitted public parking than for Penge High St.

This site at CP will likely have more passing walk-in trade late at night and more passing traffic (where more A roads all meet at CP and Parade). So reasonable to expect will be at least as busy as the Penge Mcd and with the CP site having a “McDelivery” area serving a 1.5 mile radius.

What was suprising at Penge 24 hour McDs.. it was not ‘fast food’. Walk in customers were waiting a long time for orders due the scale of orders for deliveries. This means those driving up and ordering waiting longer times than we last had a McD on Westow Hill.

Apparently 65 per cent of sales at Penge McD’s are now deliveries. For customers who actually attend the premises, the term “fast food” is now a misnomer.

‘Walk in’ customers who drive and park for an order will be much longer than when we had our last McD on Westow Hill….and combined with very limited permitted parking will cause a greater impact in CP.

My issue is the amount of extra Scooters we will now get at all hours , there is enough already and there are a couple that are extremely noisy that are currently up and down, has anyone noticed?

Among the many exchanges of views are the following:

No don’t want a McDonalds on the Triangle!

You can’t just object to it being a macdonalds as the application is for a change of use from restuarant to takeaway. You need to base your objection on material objections around the change of use.

This isn’t a steering group for the council it’s Facebook. I don’t really need to be told why I can and can’t object to something opening or not.

 it is doubtful that either the delivery staff or customers who decide to use the venue will park responsibly and considerately. It would be good for MacDs to provide more information on that.

It is a 24hour establishment, which the old one wasn’t. There are no loos for customers or Uber Eats staff to use, and nothing in the plans about how they have considered the impact that may have on the local environment. Particularly for those living in the residential streets surrounding Westow St.

(and later:) Just to be clear, I support having a MacD’s in the area. I just want to ensure it isn’t done in a way that is detrimental to the area.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

There’s also something of an alleged ‘class debate’ surrounding the application:

I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a post in this group but I actually cannot cope with the amount of fast food snobbery this whole McDonald’s debacle has prompted. It’s so boring and patently classist. When you’re from a working class or low income family McDonald’s might be the tastiest and most affordable option for a meal out. If you want a fancy brunch or Pad Thai there is an embarrassment of riches available on the triangle. Let people enjoy their chips in peace.

How many McDonald’s would have to open to persuade all these soggy tarquins to go back to their shires?

Oh *** it’s a McDonalds I’ve never seen such snobbishness. Listen to yourselves…184 comments about something none of you can affect by a post on Facebook. If you don’t like it don’t go in and it’ll soon close won’t it?

I don’t think it’s fair to group all the objections as classist. This is going to be a major business with major impact in the centre of the Triangle. People are allowed to talk about it. I was brought up on a housing estate, I wish me and my peers and my parents generation ate better food growing up.

Croydon will spend thousands every year in encouraging healthy eating but drop this tempting health timebomb in the middle of the area for all the young ones. 

BTW I do accept this is a cheaper food choice in the triangle. There are different strands to the argument and I accept there are some positives, no one has mentioned health or obesity much so that’s why I’ve dropped it in

London is a very hostile place for people on low budgets, completely agree with you on that.  There is a thin line between stating opinions and people feeling like they’re being preached at.

I don’t fully understand why the Great McDonalds in Crystal Palace debate always seems to turn into a form of class warfare, turning on whether one group have a right to tell another where to eat versus the freedom of the other group to choose where to eat. Can’t the debate be about reasons?

Bunch of hypocrites some that profess to hate the idea of **** food and concerns towards the companies environmental stance and yet I bet you wash ur clothes wash ur bodies and use numerous products containing palm oil?? Which is far more damaging to the environment. As I have said before on these type of posts it’s a choice don’t like it don’t use it…. and stop moaning about it

Give over. For goodness sake. Some of us want the MacDonalds to be implemented appropriately in a way that will help the area not run it down. The McD’s in Penge highlights a number of problems and we would be fools to ignore that and not learn from those lessons. If you have something constructive to say then say it but otherwise stop using this to just shout at people about how they are all snobs etc.

SUPPORTERS INCLUDE:

Cant wait for McDonalds to open. I dont see why the moaning, when I first moved here we had one already and it was always packed

People can’t always afford the extortionate prices in the various cafes. £9 per person for lunch is a bit steep on many people’s budgets. £2 in McDonald’s and your kids are happy and fed. Why does Palace have to become a place for those who are high earners? It’s so annoying to see well to do people judging, what about the normal people who are just getting by?

They use the same organic milk and free-range eggs as many of the fancier cafes around the place. And I would prefer McDs as an alternative to all the fried chicken places we have!

McDonald’s have a really good reputation for dealing with litter in the areas surrounding the stores, they actually send staff into the local area to litter pick.

…AND HOW ABOUT A COMMUNITY FRIDGE?

I have had the idea of a community fridge for a while now.

This is a place where people who have surplus perishables, can leave their produce. Like a food bank but 24/7 and for perishables.

A 24/7 Mc Donalds may be the perfect place to host this?

But, these things are hard to get into place. Like VERY hard, and usually require planning application. (Brixton has one that had to go through planning application, maybe we raise this?)

Maybe we can engage Mc Donalds and let them know know they need to engage with us to make CP better.

I’ll no doubt get some comments, but just a thought.

ABBREVIATIONS: TBH – TO BE HONEST / BTW – BY THE WAY

News From Crystal Palace have approached McDonald’s for a clarification on opening hours – Ed.

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