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24/09/02 . by Sherelle Folkes . Harrow Times . UK
Copyright stops protestors seeing McDonald's plans
Residents opposing McDonald's plans to turn its Shaftesbury Circle branch in South Harrow into a drive-through have accused the company of using underhand tactics.
Members of the protest group Shaftesbury Community Against McDonald's (Scam) were fuming last week after being told by Harrow Council officials that they could not have copies of the plan because it was copyright and could be viewed only at the Civic Centre planning office.
Judy Day, a retired teacher of Whitmore Road, South Harrow, said: "McDonald's originally submitted a site plan which didn't have a copyright but was recently asked to re-submit the plan with improvements to pedestrian safety. I went to the planning office to get a copies to pass on to residents who can't go in person and was refused."
Jane Prince of Porlock Avenue, who faced similar difficulties, said: "One of the key issues in our objections is the threat a drive-through could pose to pedestrian safety. McDonald's has been asked to improve key aspects of pedestrain safety yet, it seems, it is trying to make it as difficult as possible for people to see the new plan. What are they hiding?"
Scam chairman Jane Walker said McDonald's was being heavy-handed and under-hand. She said: "Many people who live around the area are elderly or disabled and they rely on us to keep them informed. We find it very suspicious that McDonald's now finds it necessary to copyright its plans."
A McDonald's spokeswoman said: "Our plans are now a matter of public record and are
available for anyone. They were prepared by professional consulatants and a copyright mark is
a standard means of protecting all the documents they prepare from being reproduced without
permission. They have now given permission for the plans to be reproduced should anyone not
be able to see them in person."