Council planning officers recommend approval for McDonald’s at former David Copperfield site

The former David Copperfield at Westwood

Thanet council’s planning department is recommending councillors approve an application to turn the former David Copperfield Harvester at Westwood into a McDonald’s restaurant and drive through.

A single storey side extension will be built following partial demolition of the building. The application also proposes changes to the site including the reconfiguration of car parking, landscaping, the creation of a drive through and a mini-roundabout to the east of the building.

Changes to the original application include:

  • The original proposed unrestricted 24/7 opening hours have been amended to 3am – 11pm each day.
  • The use of the remote car park to the south of the application site is now proposed to be restricted to between the hours of 7am – 9pm only, with retractable bollards used to control this.
  • The site layout has been amended and the provision of soft landscaping has increased.
  • The layout of the proposed drive-through has been reconfigured.
  • The originally proposed 2.4m high acoustic fence to the southern boundary has been increased in height to 3m.

Twelve letters of objection have been received with five related to the amended scheme.

Concerns raised include police having previously been called to attend to ease congestion at KFC before there is a McDonalds drive through;  noise, disturbance and smell; sound pollution from cars; air pollution and anti-social behaviour with residents saying the “car park is used as a race track by young drivers.”

A response from Kent Police to the new application highlights several issues including that the retractable bollards “will not address the potential for vehicles gaining access” and instead there should be a suitable gate with

The force wants proposed CCTV to be monitored and at least on screen should be seen from inside the unit to demonstrate that it is live.

The application has been ‘called in’ to be decided by committee by Cllr Mike Garner who has raised concerns regarding an increase in traffic, pollution, noise, disturbance and litter associated with the proposed use and concerns regarding health given the proximity of the site to St George’s CofE Foundation School.

The David Copperfield Harvester shut on April 1 last year.

Thanet council’s planning department recommends the application is approved, with conditions, when the committee meets on May 20.