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Is a McDonald's in Ellon now off the menu?

By David Porter

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Architects impressions of the new McDonald's for Ellon
Architects impressions of the new McDonald's for Ellon

Global fast food giant McDonald’s formally submitted plans for a new drive-thru in Ellon have been withdrawn planning documents have revealed this week.

If approved, the restaurant would have been built on land at the Balmacassie Industrial Estate, across from the town’s busy Tesco superstore.

The fast food firm carried out a review of its restaurant portfolio and wanted to add new locations, including in Aviemore which our sister title the Strathspey Herald revealed this week.

At the time of the application in May of this year McDonald’s said it has “long held an aspiration” to open a site in the north-east town, and "it turns out the feeling is mutual."

In a statement McDonald’s has said it remains committed to Ellon despite the withdrawal.

A spokesperson said: "Plans for a new £4million McDonald’s have been withdrawn with a view to refining proposals.

While the initial application has been withdrawn, McDonald’s has confirmed their committed to opening a restaurant at the Castle Road site and intend to submit revised proposals in the coming weeks.

"The project aims to introduce a modern freestanding single-story McDonald’s restaurant with a drive-thru, car parking, landscaping, and other necessary features such as customer order displays, covering a total area of 251 sqm.

"Notably, the restaurant anticipates the generation of up to 100 job opportunities, encompassing both full-time and part-time positions, contributing positively to the local employment landscape.

"Following feedback from Aberdeenshire Council, particularly around proposed car parking, McDonald’s have decided to withdraw the current application with a view to revising the proposals and resubmitting in the coming weeks.

"This decision was carefully made after a thorough review of the proposals and importantly constructive discussions with Aberdeenshire Council.

"A planning application was submitted in May this year following a public consultation event organised by the global corporation in March at the Royal British Legion. During this event, project materials were made available for public viewing, and attendees had the chance to directly interact with the project team to discuss the plans.

"The project garnered significant backing during this time, with nearly 1,000 individuals expressing their support, highlighting the strong community support for the proposals."

Andrew Crewther, Senior Acquisitions manager said: “Following a review of the proposals and constructive dialogue with Aberdeenshire Council, we have taken the decision to withdraw our application for a new McDonald’s restaurant at Castle Road, Ellon.

“We have been extremely encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve received, and we are committed to bringing forward a restaurant to Ellon.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll be refining our proposals in line with Aberdeenshire Council’s comments regarding the car parking restraints to the site.

“We look forward to presenting these revised proposals.”

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