Bunfight over McDonald’s

ANGRY north Orange residents have told council they plan to fight a proposed McDonald’s development in their area. 

More than 50 residents turned up at a rally meeting to confront councillors about the noise and traffic concerns over the development on the corner of Telopea Way and Farrell Road on Wednesday night.

Orange councillors in attendance copped a tongue lashing with residents interrupting to ask questions such as “why should it go here when it was rejected at Greengate”?

One vocal resident Kay Fitzgerald said she believed council had pulled the wool over residents’ eyes by not giving them sufficient notice when the rezoning of the area from residential to tourist occurred. She also thought it was unfair residents would have to lodge their submissions opposing the development during the Christmas break.

“It’s pretty mean spirited to have pulled this at this time of year,” she said.

Resident Richard Egleston said he was concerned the increase in traffic from the restaurant would be a nightmare at the already congested northern distributor and Farrell Road intersection.

“The meeting was for the benefit of the whole community because it’s already a hazardous traffic situation for anyone using the intersection,” he said.

Residents called on council staff to park at Woolworths in north Orange for half an hour to see for themselves how dangerous the traffic situation is.

Council spokesperson Nick Redmond said council had sought the opinion of an independent third party for both an assessment of the development application for McDonald’s and an assessment of the intersection.

Mr Egleston said it was a conflict of interest that council owned the land for the proposed outlet yet they were the delegated authority.

Council owns land across the city and therefore it was often that council would be the delegated authority of that land Mr Redmond said.

He went on to say the high level of community interest was the reason council had sought the advice of a third party. 

Councillors, Neil Jones, Ron Gander, Scott Munro and Russell Turner tried their best to alleviate the fears of residents but Mrs Fitzgerald said she was disappointed only four of the 12 showed up.

“They’re saying they weren’t aware of the issues and that’s not right, I bet some of them had never even been up here,” she said.

Cr Gander said he was a regular customer of the North Orange Shopping Centre and was well aware of the traffic issues.

“I urge everyone to write a submission to council,” he said.

Resident have until January 4 to lodge an objection with council.

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