We fight McDonald’s Restaurants’ unfair deal for common land

28 November 2018

Petridgewood Common, South Earlswood
© Robin Webster – geograph.org.uk/p/5754682

We have objected to an application from McDonald’s Restaurants to build part of a ‘drive-through’ road on common land at Petridgewood near Redhill in Surrey.

McDonald’s has applied to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, via the Planning Inspectorate, for consent to construct the drive-through on common land. Works on common land require such permission under the Commons Act 2006, in addition to any planning consent. The ociety, which is notified of all such applications, has objected because McDonald’s is taking part of the common without offering anything in exchange.

Says Kate Ashbrook, the society’s general secretary: ‘The restaurant wants to take, for private, commercial benefit, part of the common where the public has the legal right to roam freely on foot and horseback. At the very least it should offer some land nearby to replace it to make this a fair deal for the public.

‘We have told the Planning Inspectorate that this application conflicts with the environment secretary’s policy guidance for common land in a number of respects. It will also be a visual intrusion and interfere with people’s rights of recreation here.

‘We have asked the Planning Inspectorate to appoint an inspector who will carry out a site visit. This does not always happen and is imperative in this case,’ Kate concludes.