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County roads officials back Downham McDonald's and Starbucks proposal

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The fight to stop McDonald’s and Starbucks building new branches in Downham appears to have suffered a blow after county Highways chiefs raised no objection to the plan.

Town councillors unanimously opposed the plan to develop a site off Bexwell Road earlier this month, while road safety was one of the main concerns raised by residents.

But Norfolk County Council officials say they are satisfied with the proposed access and parking arrangements.

View of the proposed site for a Restaurant off Bexwell Road, Downham Market. (29517616)
View of the proposed site for a Restaurant off Bexwell Road, Downham Market. (29517616)

A newly-published document said the plan to provide a right-hand turning land into the site was similar to that proposed for a similar development that was given permission five years ago, but has now lapsed.

Engineer Jon Hanner wrote: “I can confirm that this arrangement is acceptable to the Highway Authority.

“However, the applicant will also be required to enhance the existing entry signs to the existing 30 mph speed limit on Bexwell Road from the A10.”

The document also stated the proposed access point was further away from the roundabout than the one for the earlier scheme.

Opponents also claim the development is out of keeping with the area and too close to existing homes.

But supporters, whose comments now outweigh those of objectors on the West Norfolk Council planning website, say it will bring much needed jobs and facilities.

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