A CAMPAIGN against a proposed McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant in Musselburgh has been launched.

Opponents have started a petition in protest at plans for a restaurant in the Tesco car park, highlighting a range of concerns such as increased traffic congestion, litter and air pollution.

The online petition ‘No McDonald’s in Musselburgh’, spearheaded by local environment group Love Musselburgh C.I.C, is approaching 1,000 signatures.

It also claimed the drive-thru was “unnecessary” as another was located less than 10 minutes’ drive away at Fort Kinnaird and that schoolchildren would have “easy access” to more fast food.

Anti-social behaviour concerns were raised and it was stated that small local businesses were facing more competition from corporate chains.

The drive-thru would be an “unsightly building” near the Roman Bridge and River Esk, it was also claimed.

The petitioners are urging people to object to the planning application, which will be considered by East Lothian Council.

If approved, the drive-thru would be built at the northern end of the car park at Tesco, near to the supermarket’s petrol station.

Ranald Leask, who is opposing the plan, claimed: “The past few years has seen a massive increase in traffic in Musselburgh and the area around Tesco is already notorious for gridlock. One-hundred-and-fifty new flats are about to be built close by, which will add thousands more vehicle journeys each day.

“For the council to allow a drive-thru McDonald’s at this, the very worst site for traffic jams in Musselburgh, would be inconceivable.

“The council also has to follow its new Climate Change Strategy, which commits it to encouraging a ‘transition to a low carbon lifestyle. . . by promoting green networks. . . local food growing... where everyone is connected to the outdoors and nature thrives.’ In other words, not strolling down the litter-strewn banks of the River Esk, choking on the toxic car fumes and being deafened by vehicle noise.

“There is already a McDonald’s less than 10 minutes’ drive away. The litter, traffic congestion and air pollution are clear for all to see.

“We don’t want the same disaster to befall Musselburgh.”

A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “We have submitted a planning application for a new restaurant in Musselburgh which, if approved, will create at least 65 new jobs for people in the local community.

“We are working closely with the local authority to ensure our proposals are acceptable and address any concerns raised during the consultation process.”

According to documents lodged with the application: “The customer seating areas comprises 101 covers for visitors to eat their meals within a relaxed modern environment.”

Outside there would be 30 car parking spaces, including two disabled spaces, as well as space for bicycles.

A supporting statement from McDonald’s added: “After a review of their property portfolio, Tesco have found that some parts of the existing car parks were underused and surplus to their requirements. There is consequently an opportunity to introduce a complementary use that would support the overall retail function and enhance the range of facilities available to customers.”

The petition can be viewed at change.org/p/east-lothian-council-no-mcdonald-s-in-musselburgh