A65 Ilkley: McDonald's to open on main route into the Yorkshire Dales - as 600 objectors 'are opposing the chain not the building's use as a restaurant'

McDonald’s has been granted permission to make changes to a building that will allow it to open a new branch in Burley-in-Wharfedale.

Hundreds of people have objected to the plans to turn the former Kashmiri Aroma restaurant and take away on Coutances Way near Ilkley into a new McDonald’s site.

On Wednesday a planning application by the company for alterations to the building, including building a rear extension, alterations to car parking and installing an underground waste water treatment tank at the site, went before Bradford Council’s Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel.

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Members heard that over 600 people had objected to the application, raising concerns including claims the new chain will cause traffic problems, promote unhealthy eating and attract a “different type of clientele” to the area.

Kashmiri Aroma on the A65 near Ilkley has been closed since May but has been in restaurant use since the 1980sKashmiri Aroma on the A65 near Ilkley has been closed since May but has been in restaurant use since the 1980s
Kashmiri Aroma on the A65 near Ilkley has been closed since May but has been in restaurant use since the 1980s

Others argued the council should not be supporting multinational businesses.

But planning officers told the panel the bulk of these objections were critical of the idea of a McDonald’s opening in the area – not of the specific application.

Planning officer Heather Flack said: “The site has permission to be used as a restaurant and takeaway, and has been used for this purpose for a number of years.

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“The site has been sold and it would not require planning permission for the new owners to open a branch there.

“The elements that need planning permission are changes to the rear of the site.

“The building has lawful use as a restaurant and take away. As a planning authority we don’t get to decide on what business is going to operate in a specific site.

“What you are deciding today is whether modest alterations to the building can go ahead.”

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She said the extensions would only increase the size of the building by seven per cent.

Councillor Steve Goodwill, chair of Burley Parish Council, spoke at the meeting, saying: “We welcome new businesses into the area, but we have to benefit the benefits with the risks.

“Our concern is about the potential for increased traffic. McDonald’s would open 15 hours a day, whereas the previous restaurant only opened in the evening.

“We expect a significant increase in vehicles going to and from the site. There is no safe way to cross the road.”

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Planning officers said the use as a restaurant was already established, and pointed out the decision was whether an extension could be built to the rear of the building.

Highways officers said there had been two accidents on the stretch of road in the last five years – one due to a driver being over the limit and one linked to a police chase.

Referring to concerns about the McDonald’s opening for longer periods than Kashmiri Aroma did, officers said the previous restaurant had permission to open between 8am and midnight – the business just chose to only open in late afternoon/evening.

Councillor Chris Herd (Cons, Worth Valley) said: “The site looks a bit run down at the moment. I think this will improve the site and the local area. It will also create jobs in the area.”

Members unanimously voted to approve the plans.

The curryhouse closed in May, having traded since 2008, and has since moved to a new site in Baildon. The 1980s building was originally a Little Chef.