These are some of the key issues that local residents are concerned about:
- Child safety
- Air pollution
- Climate emergency
This development will result is a significant increase of traffic into the local area. Westgate Road is already very congested and this development will encourage more traffic into the area making this situation even worse.
Westgate Road is a major bus route in and out of the city centre. The increased congestion will cause delays for bus passengers.
There will be a massive increase in traffic from Elswick and Benwell using Grainger Park Road, Dunholme Road and Bentinck Road.
Traffic increase on Wingrove Road, will lead to more accidents.
This increase will surely have a greater risk for the safety of our children.
Newcastle has the highest rate of childhood obesity in the country with the highest level of obesity in Benwell, Scotswood and Westgate.
Westgate road already has a high concentration of fast-food outlets. Another fast-food outlet won’t help to improve health outcomes in this part of the city.
The council has a commitment to improving health by encouraging healthy eating.
This development is within 500 metres of four schools, which is of particular concern with the rising levels of obesity in young children. This site is also directly adjacent to a well-used bus stop that many children use to take buses to schools in other areas of the city. These children and young people will inevitably be a key target market for the fast-food outlet.
The coronavirus pandemic highlights the need to take action on this issue.
The fast food outlet will inevitably result in a huge increase of littering in the local area. It is a sad fact that some customers will choose to dispose of their waste by throwing it out of their car window. Others on foot will drop their litter in the local streets. There is already a significant issue of littering in this area and this outlet will make this problem much worse.
Research by Keep Britain Tidy suggests that people are more likely to drop litter in places where there are large, bright, branded items of litter.
The increased traffic and stop-start of cars as they move through the drive-through will lower the already poor level of air quality along Westgate Road. Air quality in Newcastle is already outside of legal limits. The council has an obligation to improve the air quality in the city and this development runs directly counter to that obligation.
This is a particularly import issue in relation to the current coronavirus pandemic as air pollution is likely to make the effects of the virus worse.
In April this year, Newcastle Council declared a Climate Emergency. To take action against climate change, the council needs to encourage residents and visitors out of their cars and to promote the use of public transport. By promoting car use, this development runs counter to that objective.
This development will inevitably result in customers parking in local streets, putting pressure on the limited parking available and causing inconvenience to local residents.