Police are not loving the site proposed to potentially become the city's ELEVENTH McDonald's.

As previously reported, sources have told this newspaper that the fast-food giant's golden arches could soon be arriving at Riverside Retail Park.

A planning application was submitted to Norwich City Council on April 5 to change the use of the former Poundland building from commercial use to a hot food takeaway.

Norwich Evening News: Riverside Retail Park in NorwichRiverside Retail Park in Norwich (Image: Google Maps)

However, police are concerned about increased anti-social behaviour (ASB) and thefts if the application is approved.

An official response to the city council states: "Riverside Retail Park is unfortunately experiencing high volume of retail theft and associated ASB and is a location of growing concern for the police.

"The leasing of these vacant units to a tenant that can actively assist in improving not intensifying the current situation is imperative.

Norwich Evening News: Restaurant sources told this newspaper the application is for a new McDonald'sRestaurant sources told this newspaper the application is for a new McDonald's (Image: Newsquest)

"There are concerns that a restaurant chain as proposed, while itself not promoting offending behaviour, will inadvertently provide an environment to aid the prevalent crime behaviour.

"Unfortunately, the location is an area of growing concern for Norfolk police and this needs be taken into consideration with the application.

"Norfolk Constabulary has been reviewing crime figures during the last 18 months and Riverside Retail Park has been consistently identified as the top location for retail crime in the county.

Norwich Evening News: Police commented on the application requested a holding objection until the immediate environment can be improvedPolice commented on the application requested a holding objection until the immediate environment can be improved (Image: Newsquest)

"Due to the present crime levels recorded at the Riverside Retail Park and no CCTV in place to assist surveillance, together with recorded issues associated with such restaurant chains in other parts of the county, Norfolk police wish to request a holding objection until the immediate environment can be improved."

Another cause for concern with the proposed development would be the possible increase in traffic to an area already described as "terrible" by locals.

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Ben Price, Green county councillor for the Thorpe Hamlet ward, said: "Riverside Retail Park is an important part of the community here, however the road layout is a terrible design which already creates unnecessary traffic in the area and leads to increased poor air quality.

"Situating a fast-food restaurant in the area will only exacerbate the situation.

"Both Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council's planning committee need to take a long hard look at this traffic chaos, develop a workable long-term solution and not allow this application which will only lead to more traffic misery."

McDonald's has been contacted on multiple occasions and declined to comment on the plans for Units 7A and 7B in Albion Street, lodged by Henderson UK Retail Warehouse Fund.

The city is currently home to nine McDonald's restaurants but the Planning Inspectorate recently overturned the city council's decision to deny a 10th venue.

Norwich Evening News: There are currently nine McDonald's in NorwichThere are currently nine McDonald's in Norwich (Image: Denise Bradley/Newsquest)

Neighbours living opposite the recently approved Mousehold Lane McDonald's site last week vented their frustration around the already "dangerous" junction near the M&S petrol station.

Vijya Odedra, who has lived opposite the Sprowston site since 2002, said she's "worried that with the increased traffic this will only get worse" in the area.

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She added: "It should not have never been given permission to be developed."

 

Stephen Clayton, who has lived in Mousehold Lane for 23 years, said: "There are accidents near, or on, the crossing constantly.

Norwich Evening News: The restaurant is to open in the Riverside Poundland, in Albion StreetThe restaurant is to open in the Riverside Poundland, in Albion Street (Image: Google Maps)

"So the increase in traffic McDonald's will bring is worrying."

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The road has a 40mph speed limit and a crossing with traffic lights near the junction for Corbet Avenue, with filter lanes in the middle of the road.

McDonald's welcomed the appeal decision and pledged to work with the community to protect Mousehold Heath from litter issues.

A spokesman previously pledged 120 part and full-time jobs would be created if planning permission was given but it is not yet clear when the site could replace Richard Nash Cars.

McDonald's already has city centre stores in Chantry Place and Hay Hill, as well as drive-through restaurants including in Hellesdon, Tuckswood, Postwick and Costessey.