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Downham Market McDonald's to open 24-7

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Permission has been granted for a soon-to-open McDonalds to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The new McDonalds drive-through restaurant on Bexwell Road in Downham Market, set to open by the autumn, was given the approval to operate overnight by borough councillors at a Thursday licensing meeting.

Despite having permission to remain open 24 hours a day, it may not mean that the restaurant does so, with the decision on opening hours ultimately in the hands of the franchisee set to operate it.

Construction work for Starbucks and Mcdonald's has begun at Bexwell in Downham (57381867)
Construction work for Starbucks and Mcdonald's has begun at Bexwell in Downham (57381867)

Representatives of McDonalds said that they were “covering all the bases” by seeking the 24-hour permission, in case the franchisee decided it would be worthwhile to stay open all night.

At the meeting, independent councillor Terry Parish questioned “where the demand is” for the McDonalds to be open all through the night.

The company’s licensing officer said: “I think we’re seeing more demand nationally for 24/7.

“Because obviously there are more people on the roads now – truck drivers, etc.

“The facilities are there, there’s toilets there. They can stop, they can come in, park up and eat, they don’t have to actually use the drive-through.

“Fire, police, ambulance as well, use our restaurants on a regular basis because they can park up, come in and use the facilities. Taxi drivers [too].

“There’s a whole numerous amount of people that are on the road now that weren’t there many years ago.”

Addressing potential concerns around increased litter, McDonalds’ representatives said: “The reality is we are one of the very few companies operating in this sector who do active litter picks.

“Because the store is not open yet, we’ve not decided on the routes that we’ll do, but it will be minimum three times a day round the local area – subject to risk assessment, so we’re not sending our staff into unsafe environments…

“Staff will go round picking up not just McDonalds litter, but any litter they find, to help keep the local area clean and tidy.”

Councillors voted in favour of granting the permission on condition of CCTV being in place and with footage retained for 30 days, as well as including signage reminding those leaving the premises to do so quietly.

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