MCDONALD’S is being allowed to open its Halesowen takeaway restaurant at 6am despite protests from residents who fear they will be woken by early morning noise.
But the two hour extension from the current 8am opening time will be limited to a six-month trial in order that its impact can be assessed.
Seven objections were received by Dudley Council’s development control committee to the bid to vary the opening times of the Bromsgrove Road McDonald’s.
Neighbours said the extension would “exacerbate” current problems of noise and disturbance such as the revving of engines, car doors banging and sounding of horns.
They also fear increased light pollution from the floodlights, especially to homes which have bedrooms overlooking the premises.
Residents accused McDonald’s of flouting the existing restrictions, reporting vehicles arriving at the site as early as 6.30am and well after 11pm.
They also complained that large lorries, which cannot access the car park, pull up on the main road and pavement while the drivers fetch their meals.
Halesowen South councillor David Vickers, who spoke at the planning meeting in support of the objectors, said the barriers were rarely used to stop people using the car park out of hours and a so-called acoustic fence did nothing to limit the noise.
He added: “To extend opening times to 6am will give them no peace at all.”
But franchisee of the McDonald’s Asia Sirkhot said extending opening hours would create 15 new jobs.
She said: “I understand the importance of working with the local community. I employ more than 75 people in Halesowen. I have sponsored the Black Country Fun Run and raised more than £10,000 for charity last year.
“I have taken action to resolve problems with drivers and boy racers.”