Jun 13 2012 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday
PARENTS are raising concerns about a McDonalds drive-thru being planned for a site near St Modan’s High School.
The fast food giant submitted an application to Stirling Council planners in January for land north-west of Springkerse View at Springkerse Business Park, which is expected to have around 40 parking spaces and create around 70 jobs.
However, St Modan’s High School Parent Council recently invited local councillors, police road safety representatives, and council children’s services and traffic department officials, to a meeting which raised a number of issues of concern about the plans.
A spokesperson said the proposal presented “real safety issues” for the school community and they fear accident statistics will rise.
The parents query the use of the McDonalds’ CCTV amid concerns that it would be difficult to avoid filming the school’s playing fields without tree planting or fencing, and that customers being able to observe pupils would be “wholly inappropriate”.
A parent council spokesperson said: “The McDonalds planning statement submitted to council planners poses a possible solution for increased litter to be a ‘litter pick’ with local schools. As we are the local school, is it fair that this problem be placed at St Modan’s door for resolution?
“Traffic levels are envisaged to be highest at lunch, defined by McDonalds as being between noon and 2pm, followed by evenings from 4pm and then by breakfast. Both breakfast and lunch times will affect school users who travel to school in cars or on foot.
“The school tell us between six and 10 per cent of the school roll don’t use the school bus. These children, along with any bus children who cross Forthside Way to access Park and Ride buses, will have to cross the proposed drive-through lane.”
The spokesperson added: “Parking along Royal Stuart Way, to consume food, to use the internet or for a general social gathering will leave our children open to unwanted attention or observation. Those meaning no harm will still unavoidably obstruct the children who currently walk unhindered along Royal Stuart Way on their journey home.
“We would prefer that McDonalds were not granted planning permission to build here. We believe a development of this nature poses considerable risks for our children’s health, safety and wellbeing.”
The parent council says if the council’s planning panel does allow the development to go ahead it would request several conditions be attached.
These include: a “robust” traffic management system; “considerable” screening arrangements; parking restrictions during school hours and to prevent overnight parking; electronic blocking of any free WiFi zone; strict delivery and uplift time restrictions; and safe passage for the children over the drive-thru lane.
The site has lay vacant for 10 years over which time applications for a Bannanytne’s leisure facility and a care home were withdrawn.
Steven Birrell, communications officer for McDonald's Scotland, told the Observer this week: “We submitted our application to the council in December. If we are granted permission, the new restaurant will bring 70 new jobs to the local area and all staff will have access to our award-winning training programmes.
“We always strive to be a good neighbour and are committed to working with local communities in Stirling.”