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19 January 2016, 12:00
A hearing has begun which will determine if a new McDonald’s restaurant can open next to Newcastle’s biggest school.
The case from a number of stakeholders is being heard at Newcastle Civic Centre by the independent Planning Inspectorate.
The fast-food chain’s initial application for a new restaurant on Kenton Lane roundabout was rejected by Newcastle City Council in 2014, however an appeal has led to this hearing.
Locals are concerned it will seriously increase traffic outside Kenton School, which has 1,900 pupils.
Stephanie Downey is from the campaign group No McDonald's Kenton:
“We’re concerned obviously there’ll be increase traffic with it being a drive-thru restaurant.”
“There are also concerns about anti-social behaviour and delivery vehicles trying to turn in – Kenton Lane is an exceedingly busy road.”
Kenton School head teacher Sarah Holmes Carne will also give evidence at the hearing.
“We’ve had three accidents in the last 18 months and I predict if that McDonald’s site goes up it’ll increase the likelihood of our children being hurt.”
A McDonald’s spokesperson told Capital:
"We believe opening a new restaurant in Kenton will enable us to bring positive investment in the area, create 75 new jobs and demonstrate our long term commitment to the Newcastle area."
"The proposed location of our restaurants is based on a number of factors, including the size of the available site, total population, footfall, traffic levels and flows on the local road network. The location of the local school in no way formed any part of our decisions on this site."
"We always work hard to ensure we do not have a negative impact on the communities in which we operate and safety is an important aspect of this. With crossing points available on the neighbouring roads, pedestrians are easily able to cross roads safely."
The hearing is expected to last five days.