Residents and visitors are continuing to chew over plans to have a McDonald’s outlet open in Aviemore.
The fast food giant has earmarked a site in the town’s retail park for its first venture into the area.
A planning application has been lodged with Highland Council to erect the company’s famous golden arches sign at the Santa Claus Drive location.
The move sparked a lively debate, with people split on the proposals.
Aviemore and Vicinity Community Council previously objected due to what it felt was an over provision of restaurants and takeaways.
However, it says it will look at each application on its merits and will respond after considering the application.
Plans draw support and opposition
The plan has also attracted more than 500 responses on The Press and Journal’s Facebook page.
Many welcome the news McDonald’s may be about to open in the town.
Others have urged the fast food company to consider opening in other North and north-east locations, including Stornoway, Banchory and Inverurie.
But opponents fear it would lead to more littering in the retail park.
There are also concerns about the impact the burger chain could have on existing businesses.
In addition, there are questions about the availability of staff with many restaurants, bars and cafes struggling to recruit.
Samantha Taylor, who runs The Burger Box in Aviemore, posted: “It’s a concern for those of us in Aviemore with food businesses.
“Hopefully none of us end up closing down as a result of this chain restaurant coming to Aviemore and luring our customers away with their cheap nasty food.”
Diana Hemphill said: “The problem with a multinational moving into a small town or large village is the damage it does to local businesses, many of which are family run and have served the community for a long time.
“When the busiest tourist season is over they still have to survive while continuing to provide good, wholesome food.
“I boycott the multinationals when I find them in smaller places.”
Can McDonald’s attract staff to new Aviemore branch?
John Cooper also has sympathies for local businesses.
“Great places like the Mountain Cafe had to move off the Main Street due to inability to afford high rent.
“This opens up the market to bigger chains like McD’s.
“Sad, but not surprised. It’ll probably do very well as (it) will undercut all the competition.”
And Martin Blankenstein added: “The litter is not the main problem.
“For every penny spent with a multinational (it) is one less for local businesses which eventually forces them out of business —check out our high streets.”
Kirsti McIntyre asks: “Where are their staff coming from? Where will those staff live?
“They’ve probably not even realised this is a huge issue in our area.
“It’ll need more than a couple of people to operate over the regular hours of a Maccy-D’s.
“Not in favour of this one for sure”.
Aurelien Moro poses another question: “How many cups and burger boxes will we find in the Aviemore’s beautiful nature?
“Sorry for the association, but it is common knowledge that lots of fast food customers are not inclined to care for their natural environment.”
But Jamie Alexander says it would be great to have a McDonald’s in Aviemore.
“An affordable restaurant in a great location”, he said.
‘It’s about time’
Scott Fraser agrees: “About time Aviemore had one of theses restaurants. Been crying out for years.”
As does Ryan Hill: “Brilliant news, it’s expensive for food in Aviemore. Closest McDonald’s to there is Inverness.”
And Lindsey Green posts: “All those moaning about the litter, it was the same here in Nairn when the go ahead was given.
“But there hasn’t been that much of that and the McDonald’s here will sometimes have community litter pick days.”