Bracknell, UK


May 2002

Following a long campaign which started in 1998, the local community in Bracknell (Berkshire, UK) have thwarted McDonald’s plans to install a drive-through at its restaurant on the site of what was The Keep public house. At the planning committee meeting in May 2002, packed with local residents, the local authority voted unanimously to refuse planning permission for the drive-through.

The restaurant is in the middle of a residential area and is also adjacent to a children’s playground and wildlife park. It was always to the local people’s chagrin that McDonald’s could set up shop there in the first place - and all because of the bizarre planning regulation (Class A3) which considers a public house to be the same type of outlet as a fast food restaurant.

In 1998 the local community fought McDonald’s lighting plans and, as a result, the company never implemented its original lighting intentions.

The community have long been campaigning against the fact that McDonald’s were allowed to be on this site without planning permission. And there have been local eco-problems, particularly with regards to McDonald’s packaging harming wildlife, such as the McFlurry cartons and e.g. ducks / swans getting their heads stuck in the cartons and having to be freed by local people.

A drive-through - as has been recognised by the local authority’s decision - would just make an already undesirable situation worse.

History of the Campaign

November, 1998

Local Residents Launch Campaign

McDonald's bought up a pub to turn into a 'drive-thru'. Outraged local residents launched a campaign to stop the new store, including leafletting, letters to the local papers and councillors, and to the Planning Committee of the council, a large public meeting (100 people) and lobby of the Council (60 people).

The 'drive-thru' was disallowed but an ordinary store was agreed. Subsidiary features (luminous signs etc) were all refused.

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