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Fears McDonalds drive-thru near Aberdeen ambulance base could cause traffic jams ‘leading to a preventable death’

The proposed new McDonald's has already come under fire from locals. Supplied by Michael McCosh, design team.
The proposed new McDonald's has already come under fire from locals. Supplied by Michael McCosh, design team.

Concerns have been raised that a new McDonald’s drive-thru in Aberdeen could have a “catastrophic” impact on the neighbouring ambulance base.

The global fast food giant wants to build a new restaurant on the junction of Ashgrove Road West and North Anderson Drive.

If the plans are given the go-ahead, the former Rosehill Day Centre would be demolished to make way for the huge new drive-thru.

So far 43 residents have objected to the proposal in just three weeks.

This aerial image from Google Maps pinpoints the site in question and the ambulance base.

‘Seconds and minutes can have an impact…’

McDonald’s insists the “multi-million-pound” project can not be completed anywhere else in the Granite City.

But Carl Elliot said the new drive-thru would have a dire impact on the Scottish Ambulance Service – as their station is located across the road from the site.

He said: “Any congestion along Ashgrove Road West, but particularly at the junction with Anderson Drive, will have the impact of delaying the ambulance service.

“In a role where seconds and minutes can have a significant impact on the outcomes for patients, permitting the development of this drive-thru restaurant could contribute to an otherwise preventable death.”

Aberdeen Ambulance Station at Ashgrove Road West. Picture by Kath Flannery

Fears about gulls and rats

Mr Elliot also raised concerns about the increase in litter and said it could attract unwanted pests.

He said: “Locally there are issues with nuisance caused by rats, gulls and foxes.

“Permitted development would only amplify these issues, causing more distress to those living locally.”

He also suggested that the spot could have been transformed into a “vibrant community hub” instead.

The Scottish Ambulance Service has been notified of the plans as a neighbour, but is yet to register any comment for or against the scheme.

Rosehill Day Centre was previously used as a walk-through Covid testing centre. Picture by Kirstie Topp.
Rosehill Day Centre was previously used as a walk-through Covid testing centre. Picture by Kirstie Topp.

Ashgrove Road West McDonald’s could harm health of youngsters

Resident James Stewart lives near the site.

He said the new McDonald’s would have a “detrimental impact on the health of the many young children and families” there, and on “the wider population at large”.

He said he was worried about the close distance from the diner to Northfield Academy and Cornhill School.

Mr Stewart added: “McDonald’s will certainly cause a massive negative impact on the overall wellbeing of the children.”

Meanwhile he raised concerns about the impact the famous name would have on local businesses.

He said that jobs created at the new restaurant “will be at the expense of these smaller businesses in the food and hospitality sector”.

Traffic chaos prediction

Alistair Robertshaw also lives nearby and said: “Locating a fast food restaurant alongside Aberdeen’s main hospital raises ethical questions.”

He also said the new drive-thru would bring “additional traffic, potentially throughout 24 hours, to an area which already has some fundamental traffic management problems”.

Motorists wait at the McDonald's drive-thru in Bridge of Don back in June 2020. Picture by Kenny Elrick.
Motorists wait at the McDonald’s drive-thru in Bridge of Don back in June 2020. Picture by Kenny Elrick.

McFlurry of complaints

Tomasz Fengler said he was “absolutely shocked with the idea” and branded it “ridiculous” while Emma Robb said the new restaurant would be “a hive for anti-social behaviour”.

Aberdeen Civic Society also slammed the plans.

The group states: “It will diminish the current environmental quality in a residential area by increasing air pollution due to more car traffic.”

The former Covid testing centre on Ashgrove Road West is earmarked for a new McDonald’s. Picture supplied by design team

Some are in favour of Ashgrove Road West McDonald’s…

However three residents have written to the local authority in support of the development.

Brian Cowie thinks it would bring “plenty jobs and opportunities”.

Melissa Henderson said the restaurant would “save on deliveries or having to go to town for a takeaway”.

And David Gibson noted it would be “good to have a place open close to home early in the morning for a nice coffee before work”.

Rosehill Day Centre could be knocked down for the Ashgrove Road West McDonald’s

Have your say on Ashgrove Road West McDonald’s!

The building was formerly a centre for autistic adults, but Aberdeen City Council put it on the market in 2017.

It was most recently used as a Covid testing centre during the pandemic.

If the plan is approved, it would be the fast food chain’s sixth restaurant in the city.

You can view the planning application and comment on it here.

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