From: mclibel@globalnet.co.uk
Date: Tue Jul 11 2000 - 20:12:54 GMT

In error, this was not sent out yet on the McLibel Listserve...

McLibel Support Campaign: 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX mclibel@globalnet.co uk



The following survey was designed, distributed and responses collected by
the residents of Hinchley Wood in Surrey who have formed themselves into a
residents group known as RAM.[You can contact residents Against McDonald's
at: hwram99@hotmail.com or at

McDonald’s bought the much-loved local pub in their village and residents
occupied the site to prevent the pub being refurbished as a fast food store.
The occupation started in December 1998 and continues at the time of writing
- May 2000.

The residents, like scores of similar local campaigns around the UK, are up
against planning laws [known as ‘A3 Use Class’] which automatically dismiss
objections to the transformations of local pubs into fast food stores by
refusing to recognise this as a ‘change of use’. As a consequence, the
Hinchley Wood residents have contacted other local campaigners in order to
mount a campaign for the reform of such planning laws. The UK Government
Department of Transport and the Regions have announced a review of these
laws. The Hinchley Wood residents decided to conduct their own review by
contacting the planning departments of hundreds of local authorities about
this problem. The report below summarises the responses and concludes there
is widespread concern over this issue. The Hinchley Wood campaigners also
analysed company statistics on the development of McDonald’s stores
throughout the UK which showed that their expansion increasingly relies on
the development of new sites outside the usual High Street locations. Hence
the threat to local community pubs is no coincidence.

In addition, faced with widespread and often successful community-based
opposition to the opening of new stores, McDonald’s tactics seem to favour
the purchase of pubs precisely because of the ludicrous ‘A3’ planning
guidelines which enable them to avoid the usual planningapplications and
objections. This controversy therefore is one that strongly affects and
angers local communities throughout the UK.

The McLibel Support Campaign has actively advised and supported the
residents involved at all stages of their campaign. We believe that local
communities should make the decisions about all aspects of their community
life rather than be dictated to by powerful companies or local authorities.

A Survey of Use Class A3 of the Town & Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987


This report summarises the findings of a survey of local authorities on Use
Class A3. The purpose of the study is to: · Understand the extent of concern
about the impact of the current A3 Use Class. · Ascertain the extent of
support for change to the current A3 Use Class. · Provide data for
submission to the DETR.


A short questionnaire was sent to 390 local planning authorities and county
councils in England on 21 March 2000. By 22 April 2000, 174 responses had
been received of which 156 were completed questionnaires and 18 were
acknowledgements. This response rate of 40% (completed questionnaires) is
very high for a self-completion questionnaire of this nature, and indicates
strength of interest in this issue. This response rate was spread fairly
evenly around the country, with all regions being within 10% (+ / -) of the
overall 40%. The survey was designed, distributed and responses collected by
the residents of Hinchley Wood in Surrey who have formed themselves into a
residents group known as RAM. The data has been analysed and presented by
Jane Walker, DipMRS, MMRS on behalf of RAM.

Summary Findings

Revision to Use Class A3

The majority of authorities were in favour of a change to the current A3 Use

              Yes 61% No 17% No View Given 22%

Those in favour are also spread fairly evenly across the country, as shown
on the attached map [not attached here]. Respondents’ comments indicate that
the following types of outlet give rise to different considerations and
amenity concerns:

· Sit-down restaurants, cafes, tea rooms. · Fast food and take-away
establishments. ·
              Drive-through outlets. · Public houses and wine bars.

Support for change was also evident in authorities that had not suffered
problems from the current classification, but who nonetheless recognise the
problems that can arise and are worried that ‘they could be next’. Some
concerns were expressed about the practical implications of setting and
judging the distinctions between the different types of outlet, denoting
that any re-definitions would have to be drawn very carefully.

Problems With A3 Diversity

Around one-third of the group have experienced problems with conversion
between A3 outlets where planning permission, had it been required, would
not have been granted.
              Yes 35% No 52% No View Given 13%

· The impact of fast food restaurants and take-aways was cited most often as
a key problem. · A few respondents noted the problems arising from
conversion to public houses (e.g. public order, disturbance). · However,
comments suggest that a greater number are concerned about loss of local
public houses to other A3 outlets - loss of social amenity and a community
focal point that other A3 outlets do not provide.

Difficulties With A3 Re-Development Planning Applications

The results show:

              Yes 29% No 57% No View Given 14%

Ventilation and extraction equipment appears to be the greatest cause of
problems in
re-development planning applications, with specific concerns being cited
about unauthorised installations and retrospective applications. The
findings indicate that planning rules are sometimes perceived as too
flexible (in the developer’s favour) in respect of these two latter issues.

Concern Over Cost Penalties at Appeal

The risk of cost penalties if an appeal is lost is a concern for many
respondents; however, the comments indicate that this is a consideration in
all developments and not just those pertaining to Class A3.

              Yes 23% No 59% No View Given 18%


Overall, these findings provide evidence that there are widespread and
significant concerns about the wide range of uses included in the current
Use Class A3. On behalf of local planning authorities, county councils and
communities throughout England, RAM urge the DETR to split Use Class A3 to
take full account of the amenity implications of the different outlets,
noted above.

You can contact residents Against McDonald's at: hwram99@hotmail.com or at
contact details
              McLibel Support Campaign
              5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX, UK.
              Tel/Fax: +44 (207) 713 1269
              E-mail: mclibel@globalnet.co.uk
              Web: http://www.mcspotlight.org

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