McDonald’s restaurant and drive-through approved for former David Copperfield site

The former David Copperfield at Westwood

Thanet council’s planning committee has approved an application to turn the former David Copperfield Harvester at Westwood into a McDonald’s restaurant and drive through.

Councillors on the committee voted 6-4 in favour of the plans, with conditions, today (May 20). The application had been called in by Green councillor 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.

A single storey side extension will be built following partial demolition of the building. The application 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 David Copperfield Harvester shut on April 1 last year.


  1. Outrageous
    We want to discourage obesity
    We have enough fast foods
    Near a school.

    Another fine mess at planning but then you allow offshore estate agents to develop at the old Holly tree

  2. It needs to be noted that food quality, whether you like it or not, is *not* a Planning matter..

    • Very droll David. Unfortunately fast food does not just appear in customers hands. It has to be purchased from a location which involves a building. It therefore has planning considerations, which local people will invariably have an opinion on.

  3. David correct in principle, but still wrong being so near schools. It needs more people like Sharon Goodyer to educate people there is an alternative to junk food

    • I’m sorry, but sleepy Barry Lewis talks out of his as*. Just like on every other article on this site.

      If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t submit a comment.

      You should know full well how a planning application works and how permission is granted, but I guess, going by your track history, that’s unlikely.

    • Cllr Barry Lewis how can you be an advocate for healthy eating or try to encourage it. Now the kitchen at drapers mills in the summer was set up to ensure those struggling could have a meal with their family free of charge from food that’s donated. So can you please answer why your plate was full before the people who needed the support even arrived? Because I’m pretty sure you are not struggling to feed your family daily.
      I enjoyed the day helping and the others who were involved but you was rude towards people, you looked down at people and every 5 minutes you was in to ‘test’ the food. And here you are trying to have a say about healthy eating

      • Kirsty
        Every volunteer is precious. It is the volunteers’ time and effort that makes Summer Kitchen so special. Thank you for your help.

        You and I see things differently.

        It was only because of Barry that I was able to get the idea of Summer Kitchen up and running. I really relied on Barry to help me run Summer Kitchen. He was there every day we opened last summer arriving early and leaving late. It was Barry who organised the speakers and the entertainment. He is a loyal and true friend to Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet.

        It is a tragedy we cannot run Summer Kitchen this August but we will be making lots of ready meals which will be delicious and available at the most affordable prices. We will deliver these for free. We hope to be able to offer you a really good family meal for £5. Something to look forward to this summer.

        I hope you can find it possible to appreciate the enormous amount Barry Lewis gives to the work we try to do. We all love the sociable, silly side of Summer Kitchen. ‘You will always find me in the kitchen at parties’. The kitchen is where the action is . I am sure I spent too much time being a taster because it was always so delicious. I would love us all to be generous in our appreciation of what each of us has to offer. That way we can relax in each others’ company, come together and create more good things together.

  4. Barry Lewis is correct in saying that junk food should not be sold near a school. Morally, it certainly shouldn’t be. But are there laws which prevent it legally?

    Even if parents don’t know about proper nutrition, the children should be taught about it in school. (I don’t know whether they are,in fact, taught about nutrition or cooking.)

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