CONTROVERSIAL plans to open a 24-hour fast food outlet in the centre of a Hampshire town have been thrown out.

New Forest District Council (NFDC) has rejected an application to build a Burger King drive-thu at the Esso garage in Ringwood Road, Totton.

Objectors had claimed that the scheme would create extra traffic problems in the town as well as adding to childhood obesity.

The garage is near a busy roundabout, the Totton branch of Asda and a level crossing which is closed to vehicles for a total of 20 minutes every hour. There are also several schools in the area.

New Forest Post:

The application sparked a storm of protest after it was submitted last year.

Objectors included Totton and Eling Town Council, which told NFDC: "The location is clearly not suitable for a busy takeaway and drive-thru. It is felt that these issues, and the strong public swell of objection, are justifications for refusal."

Now the burger battle has ended in defeat for Euro Garages, which owns the site.

Its application has been turned down by the NFDC's chief planning officer, Claire Upton-Brown, who criticised what she described as a "poorly designed and intrusive extension" to the building.

Ms Upton-Brown also referred to the “relatively congested” nature of the area.

She added: “The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposal would not result in an unacceptably harmful impact on air quality.”

New Forest Post:

The council's decision to refuse the application has been welcomed by Totton councillor David Harrison,

“Whilst I enjoy a Whopper I always considered this was one of the worst places that such a facility could be built," said Cllr Harrison.

“The area is often choked with traffic and there are serious concerns about air quality.

“In rejecting the application, planners have referred to poor and inappropriate design, the potential for extra traffic congestion and air quality.

"I think they could also have referred to another public health issue - the growing problem of obesity. I do expect planners to refer all such applications to the Director of Public Health for Hampshire in future."

Euro Garages could decide to lodge an appeal in the hope that a government-appointed planning inspector will quash the council's decision.

But Cllr Harrison said: "I really do hope Burger King will decide to locate a facility elsewhere, rather than try to force this upon us."