Big Macs Are Frozen Out

Portillo Hq site is turned down

by Paul Gallagher; Daily Express UK, Tuesday Septmeber 17, 1996

Plans for a drive-in McDonald's on the site of Michael Portillo's Tory HQ hit a brick wall last night.

The idea was rejected at a rowdy planning committee meeting when hundreds of protesters with placards stood outside the council chamber. The Defence Secretary stayed away.

The fast-food giant wants to buy Century House, the Enfield Southgate Tory Party headquarters in North London, for around 350,000. But the deal will only go through if it has planning permission to demolish the building and erect a neon-lit 'drive-thru' restaurant.

Enfield's Labour-controlled planning committee voted unanimously against the idea last night. Some tory activists are threatening to withdraw support in the General Election if Mr Portillo does not join their campaign against McDonald's, which is already appealing against the decision.

Mr Portillo said he had to stay neatral in case the appeal is referred to the Government.

"We feel very let down by Michael Portillo," said Peter Tasker, chairman of the Winchmore Hill Residents' Association.

"Surely his first duty is to the constituents he represents."

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