THURROCK Council has thrown out plans for a new fast food drive-thru on a busy junction in Grays over road safety concerns.

McDonald’s sought planning permission to demolish car showroom Brayley Mazda on Orsett Road, a main route to Grays town centre, and build the drive-thru and 48 cover restaurant along with 27 parking spaces.

The council received 17 objections from neighbouring residents who were concerned over highway safety, increased traffic and littering and pollution.

They also questioned the impact on nearby residential home and the availability of “unhealthy food” to school children. Concerns were also raised over the possibility of antisocial behaviour.

Thurrock’s highways team said the proposed drive-thru could increase traffic congestion as the site is close to a mini-roundabout and traffic lights and being on a main route to the town centre it could also increase congestion at peak times.

In their report, highways officers said: “At present severe concerns remain regarding the traffic impact and the potential for road safety issues with this development. This area forms a gateway into the town centre and is a busy traffic and pedestrian route including pedestrian school traffic.

“Some questions remain regarding the analysis and assumptions particularly around “Mc Delivery”. In addition, concerns remain regarding parking levels, deliveries, access and manoeuvrability, queuing back on to the highway and pedestrian and cycle facilities.”

The site is also said to be on contaminated land and Thurrock’s environmental health team called for investigation if the scheme had been approved.

Refusing the application, planning officers said: “The proposal is located within a town centre location and is generally considered to be acceptable in principle. However, there are clear concerns in relation to highway safety, particularly as a result of the significant increase in intensification of the access onto Orsett Road and the probable likelihood of vehicles queuing on the highway.

“In the absence of sufficient information, the local planning authority are not satisfied that the proposals would not lead to vehicles queuing along Orsett Road, which would have significant detrimental impacts upon the local highway network.”