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Police among objectors to McDonald's restaurant and drive-thru at Totton

McDonalds want to develop site of Red Lion pub which was destroyed by fire.

McDonalds want to develop site of Red Lion pub which was destroyed by fire.

First published in New Forest Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

PLANS for a new McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru in a Hampshire town have sparked more than 70 objections – including one from the police.

Officers have warned that proposals to build a two-storey complex in Commercial Road, Totton, could result in crime, antisocial behaviour and a spate of accidents.

McDonald’s wants to inject new life into the town by redeveloping a site that has stood empty since the Red Lion pub burnt down in 2010. Its plan to build an 85-seat restaurant, with a separate drive-thru facility for people buying takeaways, would create 75 jobs.

But police have objected to the application in a letter to New Forest District Council, which is due to debate the scheme in the next few weeks.

The letter says fast food outlets similar to the one proposed tend to attract troublemakers who often indulge in crime and antisocial behaviour.

Crime prevention advisor Simon Bottom says: “The nearby Millbrook McDonald’s has resulted in 31 police reported incidents in the past 12 months and I would suggest that the situation in Totton would be similar.”

The proposed site is on a sharp bend and is also next to the entrance to Forest Park School. Mr Bottom says: “There will be an undoubted increase in traffic and therefore an increased danger that a driver exiting McDonald’s and turning left would not necessarily see or have time to react to a vehicle turning right from the school at the same time.”

The authority has so far received 74 objections to the scheme – and no letters of support.

Several critics say the area already has too many fast food outlets.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We would like to reassure local residents that our main priority is to be a good neighbour.”

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