Labour Puts Big Mac Off The Menu In Portillo Land

Daily Mail, 17 September 1996

Labour councillors have rejected plans to turn a tory headquarters into a drive-thru McDonald's.

The Conservative Association in Defence Minister Michael Portillo's Enfield Southgate constituency in North London hopes to sell the building to the international burger chain for an estimated 325,000.

The go-ahead depends on change of use being granted by Labour-run Enfield borough council, but its planning sub-committee last night bowed to pressure from residents campaigning against the scheme.

Councillors voted unanimously to refuse McDonald's application for the burger bar at CEnteury House in Green Lanes, Enfield.

More than 100 protesters who packed the council chamber clapped and cheered when the vote was made. Committe chairman, Tony Kinsler said:"This location in my view is totally inappropriate. It will only exacerbate the problems we already have in this area."

Mr Portillo upset tory residents by failing to condemn the plans. He told them last month: "The Conservative Association wish to sell this building because it is too big, it is expensive to maintain and it needs a lot of work. It is not a decision I played any part in."

McDonald's anticipated last night's vote and has already lodged an appeal. Terence Neville, the council's Conservative's group leader, said: "No one imagined for a minute that this would go through on the nod. The appeal means a public inquiry, probably early next year."

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