A north-east MSP has hit out against plans for a new Aberdeen McDonald’s drive-thru over concerns it could cause an “unacceptable risk” to ambulance response times.
Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart has written to Aberdeen City Council chiefs to formally object to the proposal.
The global fast food chain is hoping to open the new restaurant on the site of the former Rosehill Day Centre on Ashgrove Road West.
The proposed drive-thru site is located across the road from the Aberdeen Ambulance Station.
Plans for the new restaurant were submitted to the local authority last month.
Why did he object?
In his letter, Mr Stewart mentioned the Scottish Ambulance Service’s own objection to the proposal.
He said: “I would like to draw particular attention to the Scottish Ambulance Service objection, who have stated that almost half of their emergency vehicles use the junction to attend emergency calls.
“This could cause particular difficulties if the queues are backed up onto the road like was often the case at the Bridge of Don site.
“Beyond that, they have stated the significant increase in traffic that the drive-thru could bring to the area with an estimated rise of 460-750%.
“This could place an unacceptable risk to ambulance response times to emergencies across Aberdeen”.
Constituents had also written to the SNP MSP with concerns about litter, anti-social behaviour and access to nearby sheltered housing.
Traffic build-up ‘could cause very serious issues’
Mr Stewart said that ambulance response times “must be held paramount”.
He added: “The traffic build-up on the junction to Anderson Drive could cause very serious issues for folk across the city if our paramedics are restricted in any way.
“I’ve written to the council to note my formal objection to ensure these issues are properly considered by the planning committee.
“I hope these views, along with those of the Scottish Ambulance Service and the local community, are taken into account too.”
Emergency service raised concerns
The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) said it had a “number of concerns” about the impact the new restaurant would have on its daily work.
It said drive-thru traffic would have a “detrimental effect on our target response time to immediately life-threatening call-outs.”
Service bosses also said they were worried about the impact demolition and construction work on the site would have on the service.
Estates officer Jenon Stewart said: “SAS provide an essential emergency service to the area and, as the proposed site layout stands at the moment, we believe that the increased traffic flows will have a detrimental effect on our target response time to immediately life-threatening call-outs.”
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Residents oppose to plan
The vacant Rosehill Day Centre building would be demolished to make way for the new drive-thru.
But the development has not proved to be popular as 85 residents have written to the council opposing the plans.
Meanwhile, just four have given the drive-thru their support.
The building was formerly a centre for autistic adults but was put on the market in 2017.
It was most recently used as a Covid testing centre during the pandemic.
If it is given the go-ahead it would be the sixth McDonald’s restaurant in Aberdeen.