THE NEW Weymouth McDonald’s has won the right to open 24-hours every day at the town’s Gateway site.

A licensing panel has decided any noise will be deadened by three large commercial businesses between the restaurant and the distance between the premises and the nearest homes.

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Bournemouth Echo: Weymouth & Dorchester McDonald’s franchise Chris Truscott (left) and barrister Charles Holland at the hearingWeymouth & Dorchester McDonald’s franchise Chris Truscott (left) and barrister Charles Holland at the hearing

The meeting heard from franchisee Mr Chris Truscott that the target date for opening had been set for May 18th, although this has not been confirmed.

The new restaurant, with two other outlets in Weymouth and one in Dorchester, will between them have up to 400 full and part-time posts, one of the area’s biggest employers.

In agreeing the late night refreshment licence panel chair Cllr Emma Parker said members were happy with the company’s response to litter and the general management of the site – including provision for a separate space for delivery drivers which would only be able to operate until midnight.

Resident had told the hearing in Dorchester last week that there was no need for the business with a 24-hour McDonald’s just a short drive away at the Jubilee retail park – and said they fear late night noise from vehicles driving up the hill to Dorchester Road.

Some expressed concerns that it would attract more ‘boy racers’ who already cause a nuisance in the park and ride and Sainsbury car park – especially once the park and ride has gates fitted to close it down at night.

But with the McDonald’s new site covered by CCTV and only limited space available in the car park the panel was told boy racers were unlikely to be a problem and anyone playing music too loud from their cars would be asked to stop – either by staff or the police.

In addition the restaurant will be fitted with a Staffsafe system which includes fixed and mobile panic buttons linked to a remote control centre.

Although the two ward councillors and around 20 residents had objected the panel heard that there had been no objection from the police or the council’s environmental health team.

Resident Mr Jerry Matthews from Hetherley Road told the County Hall hearing that the new premises was in a bowl and sound travelled upwards towards nearby homes.

“If McDonald’s wasn’t open that problem wouldn’t exist,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s been thought about to have this at 2 o’clock of 3 o’clock in the morning,” he said. “Whether a customer, or a courier, they have all got to go up the hill to get out,” he said.

Concerns were also raised about extra traffic in the area although the committee said this is a planning matter, not licensing.

The meeting was told that, whatever the decision, it was easy, and free, for anyone to bring a review of the licence should there be problems at the site, once it was in operation.