As a very close neighbour of the White Bear, I’d like to counter a few of the comments you published following McDonald’s decision to appeal against the refusal of their latest plan for that site.
To those who say (repeatedly) that a McDonald’s would be preferable to a derelict site, I say why should those be the only two options available? A number of other uses for the site have been suggested, but since McDonald’s have made the owners a substantial offer for it subject to them getting planning consent, no alternatives can be considered until they are no longer in the frame. Uses that have been suggested include various types of restaurant, a health clinic, small offices or housing. ~ Personally I would be happy with any of those because, unlike McDonald’s, none would have a drive through or be open 24 hours a day. If you were to press them the council would probably tell you that the White Bear should have been closed down and demolished 50 years ago when the M62 was built and the roundabout redesigned as the site is wholly unsuitable for that kind of operation. As for McDonald’s, it tells you all you need to know about their attitude in that having been given six months to lodge an appeal they waited till the very last day to do so. There are a number of empty sites nearby which would suit their purposes perfectly, but they prefer to dump it on the edge of a residential area simply because it is a prominent and highly visible position. They say they want to work with the local residents, and there is a very simple way they can do so – GO AWAY!
John R Wainwright