A request for resource consent for a 24/7 drive-through restaurant and McCafé on Kepa Road has been submitted in September, sparking outrage among local residents.
Should the fast-food giant, McDonald’s, obtain approval, the old St. James Church site on Kepa Road may become the location for its latest outlet, a prospect that has left the community far from pleased.
Local resident Sue expressed her concerns, highlighting issues such as unhealthy food, increased traffic, and generated litter. She stated, “We’ve already had McDonald’s nearby, we still have McDonald’s nearby. We don’t need another McDonald’s here.”
Although resource consent applications do not always necessitate public notification, local residents believe there are valid reasons to challenge this proposal and that their voices should be heard.
Auckland’s deputy mayor, Desley Simpson, who also serves as a local councillor, supports the idea of public notification for a fair process. She said, “It should be publicly notified without a doubt.”
The application is presently on hold, awaiting more information on factors like traffic, noise, and consultation with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.
McDonald’s responded to concerns, noting that it’s not uncommon for small groups to voice opposition and emphasizing that they are following the council’s consenting process.
A change.org petition to prevent the 24/7 McDonald’s has garnered over 1,700 signatures, with locals worried about increased traffic on the already congested Kepa Road and the safety of schoolchildren.
Sue also raised concerns that the presence of McDonald’s could undermine the efforts of local iwi to promote healthy eating. She said, “Why would we be putting a McDonald’s with the people who are most vulnerable to eating junk food right next door to them?”
Recommendations regarding this proposal are expected by the end of the year.