Hearing on Proposed 3 x Fastfood Outlets
See below the text from Kingswells Community Council representation at the hearing on 28th November, 2018.
Planning Hearing on 3 Fast-food outlets at the Vet off the A944.
Good morning, thanks for allowing me to speak.
I am Ian Cox from Kingswells Community Council.
The planning application is for three fast-food units.
This setup is typical almost everywhere, so why do we have concerns about this application?
The issues are:
- This is supposed to be a detailed planning application, but there is no control over what the development will be, or what it will look like.
- The final configuration of the development cannot be determined until the tenants are identified. We understand that this cannot occur until planning principle is granted.
- The development is isolated from one of its main customers – Prime Four
- Connection with Prime Four is not in the control of the developer
- The development would encourage people to walk along the A944. We are concerned about the safety of this activity.
- And lastly, the stacking of drive-thru traffic is an issue.
We have been in discussion with the developer to try to find an improved layout that would be more acceptable to the community.
It is good to see the alternative layout has been included. It would be our preferred layout if the application was approved.
Although we have not always agreed with everything Drum has done, there is little doubt that they have achieved their high-class development. We would expect the Planning Authority to maintain these high standards when considering development on this site.
We do not consider having a two storey McDonalds in a prominent position at the entrance to the site as appropriate.
Issue 1 and 2
The developer claims to be looking for high-class tenants for the three units and cannot finalise any agreements, nor indeed initiate detailed discussions with potential tenants until planning is approved.
This causes the community grave concern.
There is no control over who tenants may be. The applicant is working from a list of all the usual fast-food providers. This does not guarantee any quality. This approach is not seen as acceptable for this development.
The layout is dependent on the tenants who may be interested, as all the main providers have their own bespoke designs. The proposed development is based on existing designs used by 3 of these fast-food providers. If the successful tenants are not those assumed, then significant change will be required to this planning application.
Issue 3 and 4
There is no connectivity with Prime Four. The developer claims that people will access the fast-food facility from Prime Four by foot. However, there is no footpath linking the two sites, and due to time constraints placed upon employees at lunchtime it is considered that most customers from Prime Four will drive. This will involve a convoluted route including the AWPR roundabout. Access to Prime Four is not within the control of the developer.
Possible Resolution of these concerns
It is our opinion that detailed planning application for this site is premature.
The development of this site should be at the same time as the adjacent Prime Four development so that the whole development can be well considered as a unit; utilising a new access with the A944 and providing connectivity with the main Prime Four development.
The existing junction
If the development of this site were to be delayed, then we understand that ACC may have concerns re the safety of the existing junction with the A944.
Most of these concerns can be resolved by closing the central reservation and having left in left out access to the Vet. The original design of the junction was suitable for speeds of 70mph, so with the reduction to 40 there should be no pressure on the Vet to provide an improved junction.
The development will attract additional pedestrian traffic along the A944. Under normal circumstances this would be a desirable feature, but not in this location. The additional foot traffic will come in two forms: from teenagers and football fans.
Teenagers will be in high spirits and capering along the way. There is no protection offered.
Football fans could be travelling in crowds and are likely to spill onto the carriageway. There is no restraint offered.
The solution of this issue is not the sole responsibility of the developer. ACC also has a part to play.
The proposed road layout is the same as the previous planning application for an office block. The developer claims that the arrangement was good enough for an office development and is, obviously, good enough for this smaller development.
On first impressions this seems to be a valid statement; but on closer examination there may be an issue.
The office block employees will have a parking space and any queueing will occur within the carpark. With this development, customers will be trying to access the carparks and queueing for drive thru at the same time. Looking at how this works at other sites raises concern.
At Bucksburn, even after Aldi is closed, there is significant issues around the McDonalds site with queues forming on the access road.
At Forfar, the various outlets are widely spaced, and queueing is local to each outlet. This does not have a cumulative effect on the access road.
In Dundee, the various outlets are closer together, and the impact on the local approach road is more significant. However, the length of the road network accommodates the queues.
Given that the layout is not finalised, we are concerned that there is a potential for 3 drive thru units which are close to each other. The internal road network does not have enough stacking capacity and cannot utilise the solutions used by the above sites.
There will be restrictive access to the Vet. and this will be most evident if, in the long term, the main access is off a spur from Prime Four.
We are also concerned with any overspill onto the A944.
A friendly neighbour for the Vet would not generate large queues which block their access.
This site is not suitable for the proposed development.
The proposed development is common around the area but is not considered appropriate for this site. For a detailed planning application there is too much uncertainty. The application is premature, and the site should be brought on with the adjacent Prime Four development when it can be integrated into the overall scheme.
In the meantime, the central reserve could be closed if there was a concern for the safety of the existing junction.
ACC need to have a plan to deal with the safety of additional pedestrians along the A944,
or . . to ensure that approved developments in this area do not create additional issues.
We ask that you turn down this application at this time.