CONTROVERSIAL plans for Colchester's fifth McDonald's restaurant are set to be approved, despite more than 230 residents hitting out at the plans.

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund's proposals to create the new restaurant and drive-thru at the Turner Rise Retail Park, in Petrolea Close, Colchester, look set to be rubber stamped by the planning committee.

The new fast-food restaurant would be built between Go Outdoors and Pizza Hut at the retail park, which is already home to the likes of Dunelm, Home Bargains and Asda.

A total of 231 objections were received to the proposals.

Residents raised concerns about the increase in traffic it would cause around North Station, already a congestion hotspots, anti-social behaviour and increased pollution.

Many residents also said a fifth McDonalds in the town would have an adverse impact on public health.

The fast-food giant already has eateries in Colchester High Street, Cowdray Avenue, at junction 28 of the A12 and at Tollgate.

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A report, set to go before the committee on Thursday, says 164 supporting comments were received. 

However there are 23 support comments submitted on the planning application online.

It states: "The proposal would provide economic and social benefits resulting in new employment opportunities for over 65 staff.

"In addition, wider positive impact on the local economy are identified from the construction phase to business rates to supply chain.

"The proposal will also result in improvements to the public realm.

"It is acknowledged the application would result in more traffic generation.

"However, the highways authority has deemed this increase to be acceptable in terms of network capacity and highways safety.

"It is considered the benefits of the scheme outweigh any adverse impacts and the proposal is considered to be acceptable on this basis.

"The application is subsequently recommended for approval."

Ward councillor Martin Goss (Lib Dem, Mile End) called the planning application in to the committee.

The call-in request said: "Concerns over increased car congestion, parking issues and environmental impact on the local area especially given this area of Colchester and in particular the retail park is a huge issue with vehicle gridlock along with North Station.”

Councillors will vote on the proposals at a meeting next Thursday.