McDonald's moving in on Raceview land hot spot

FAST food chain McDonald's is rumoured to be looking at locating a 24-hour outlet directly across the road from a Raceview site council turned them down on in August.

More than 400 people joined a protest group after the first plans were lodged in May, concerned about the food chain targeting the site because of its proximity to a school and five childcare centres, and high traffic flow. Those opposed to the McDonald's store said that a 24-hour restaurant would lead to early morning "Macca's" runs from pub patrons leaving the Raceview Tavern opposite the site.

The Raceview Tavern has since been given approval to subdivide its land holdings into two lots, freeing up the back car park area as a separate title for development. The application was approved by council in September and is within the Local Retail and Commercial zone.

The failed McDonald's proposal, diagonally opposite the Raceview Tavern, was turned down by council because of community concerns and it did not have the appropriate zoning.

A McDonald's spokesman would not comment on the Raceview Tavern site but did confirm the chain was still looking for a suitable site for a new store in Raceview.

"We are currently looking at a number of different sites in the Ipswich area. However nothing is confirmed at this stage," the spokesman said.

Raceview Tavern director Doug Mayes said he had received a phone call from McDonald's about the site but there was nothing official from the company.

"We are considering all options," Mr Mayes said.

"I've had approaches over the last five to six years from a number of developers wanting to buy the land. It's a great spot with the growth out there."

The Raceview Tavern underwent a $2million refurbishment and expansion in 2006. The liquor barn was relocated under the project to free up the back car park site for future development.

The tavern land had previously been granted development approval for 42 multi-unit dwellings on the car park site. The approval for a material change of use, which was given in 2006, has lapsed, but the new development approval states that it "aligns with the previously approved reconfiguration".

Mr Mayes said the tavern was still considering the development of townhouses and "another couple of options".

Council's Planning and Development Committee chairman Paul Tully said council had not received a new development application from McDonald's.

Homes are now under construction on the first site put forward by McDonald's.

Demand for residential development in the area has seen plans for townhouses at the old Kingwall Manufacturing factory and the adjoining Cascade St site across from the tavern. Wallace Place Stage One will consist of 32 townhouses and the estate will feature 114 townhouses on completion.

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