A Kyneton lobby group is spitting chips over plans for fast-food giant McDonalds to lay foundations at their town’s northern gateway in a divisive three-stage development.
Protesters say the famed golden arches will impinge on local trade, create a traffic nightmare and rob Kyneton of the country charm that attracts tourism.
Objector Kaylene Coulter told the Express more than 500 people had joined a Stop Maccas Facebook group to air their grievances.
“Post Office Creek doesn’t stand a chance – residents are trying to preserve local habitat for platypus and frogs,” she said.
“There is concern that Edgecombe Road will get congested with extra traffic pulling off the highway, and that school children may be tempted to traverse the dangerous roundabout and road.
“The McDonalds is also impinging on our town’s foodie branding. People in Piper Street have worked long and hard to build up its image to become a food destination.”
It’s not just the proposed McDonalds drawing extra traffic and creating business competition.
The McDonalds forms part of a major three-stage development planned for the Edgecombe Road site, which includes a petrol station, second fast-food outlet, hardware retailer Bunnings and housing development.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council approved the 43-lot housing subdivision in December and has opened submissions for the remaining two applications, which can be accepted right up to the time of council debate.
The developer says the plan will create 200 local jobs and represents an investment of more than $15 million in the local economy. The Bunnings store alone is expected to create 40 permanent jobs for local residents.
The site for the proposed McDonalds, petrol station and Bunnings is already zoned Commercial 2.
While there is strong opposition to the development, there appears to be equal numbers in support.
Supporter Adrian Parnis said Kyneton should welcome more employment to give young people opportunities to stay in the area.
“It’s a good thing for the town, it keeps people spending money in the town rather than going to Melbourne or Bendigo, and creates jobs for people, young and old,” he said.
“I grew up in Kyneton and I had to leave and move to Melbourne for more working opportunities! When a town doesn’t move with the times this is what happens.”
A group opposed to the Edgecombe Road development letterbox-dropped Kyneton residents last week with flyers urging submissions to the council.
Macedon Ranges has a history of opposition to fast-food restaurants with mixed results.
Woodend residents put up a fight to stop a returned proposal for a fast-food restaurant and service station at its southern gateway in 2017. They also opposed a plan for a roadhouse and three food outlets at Woodend North that was rejected by council planners for its inappropriate location last year.
Nearly 10,000 people signed a petition against the Gisborne McDonalds fearing business impact before council gave its nod of approval back in 2011.
Robert Bridgeman – “Kyneton and particularly Edgecombe Road will become just another housing and businesses development ghetto. The road can’t handle the traffic now.”
Kylie Lethbridge – “Brilliant, jobs for the kids!”
Carol Saunders – “Fantastic news, about time people think of what opportunities are out there for our kids, employment is what is needed, otherwise they will have to travel for work, it’s not as if they are putting it in Piper Street, it is out of town, a bit of progress is needed.”
Kaylene Gooch – “Don’t want this development! Poor Kyneton is losing its unique country feel”
Brad Gatehouse – “Bring it on, Kyneton needs it.”
Amanda Bennett – “About time there was some progress in Kyneton. So many employment opportunities will be fantastic for the local jobseekers.”
Jessica Horan – “It will be great for the young ones: work opportunities to many who travel or don’t work now because there is just no work here for them. I think it’s great for the progress of our town.”
Karen Boyer – “Tourist don’t want Maccas they can get it anywhere so they will still want our local shops.”
Deborah Robinson – “Fantastic, can’t wait…so Kyneton will move ahead at last. Unfortunately over the Christmas holiday period it was very hard to find a cafe open in Kyneton tourists were wandering around looking all over the place.’
Claire Oram – “I don’t understand why folks that have lived in Kyneton for years say Kyneton needs this. If you don’t like Kyneton and the surrounding areas: move. It sounds like Sunbury might be the place for you.”
Adrian Parnis – “So narrow minded some people are. It’s a good thing for the town, keeps people spending money in the town rather than going to Melbourne or Bendigo. Creates jobs for people, young and old.”