No fries with that: McDonald’s development at Chisholm rejected

Michael Weaver 26 February 2020 39
Chisholm Tavern manager Jennifer Hunt

Chisholm Tavern manager Jennifer Hunt outside the venue she and her husband Graham have operated for 28 years. Photo: Region Media.

A development application to open a McDonald’s restaurant at Chisholm has been rejected by the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA).

In a battle between a family-owned small business and the world’s most popular family restaurant, the proposal was to demolish the existing Chisholm Tavern site to make way for the fast-food chain, which already operates stores nearby at Erindale, Lanyon and Tuggeranong.

The $2.2 million proposal, submitted last June by Chisholm Village Pty Ltd, sought to remove the existing tavern and construct a McDonald’s Family Restaurant. It also required the purchase of an adjacent publicly owned toilet block. The application was rejected last week.

More than 700 signatures against the development were presented in a petition by Member for Brindabella and Chisholm local Joy Burch. A further 119 written submissions were made during the public notification period.

Some of the submissions included concerns about parking and traffic, pedestrian circulation, the character of the Chisholm centre, the current number of McDonald’s in the area, the impact on existing businesses, public health, and social and environmental impacts.

Ms Burch said she was very pleased to hear that the development application had been knocked back.

“The decision to reject the proposal of a McDonald’s restaurant at Chisholm was made by a delegate of the Planning and Land Authority after an open consultation period,” Ms Burch said.

“During this period of consultation, I facilitated a petition for the Tuggeranong community to provide their feedback on the proposal.

“The feedback I received, and that was provided to the Planning and Land Authority by way of a petition, was that overwhelmingly, the community did not wish to see a McDonald’s built at the Chisholm shops.

“I believe the feedback received was a strong demonstration of the community desire to support their local shops and particularly the existing Chisholm Tavern.”

Reasons for the rejection of the proposal include access issues for delivery drivers and access points for the public at the front and rear of the proposed store not being wide enough. There was also an issue with carpark space at the already-busy Chisholm shops being utilised as parking space for McDonald’s customers.

Chisholm Tavern manager Jennifer Hunt has operated the business for more than 28 years and told Region Media they will remain open despite the proposal and high rents having a significant impact on their business.

“The future of the Chisholm Tavern is somewhat brighter than it was last week,” Ms Hunt said. “This is extremely good news for all small and local businesses in the Chisholm shopping complex, not just us.

“The big thank you belongs to Joy Burch who never gave up, and also the patrons of the Chisholm Tavern, along with the general public who didn’t want a Maccas in the area.”

She said the McDonald’s proposal meant the business had been unable to plan ahead in advance.

“I book functions every weekend and there are people who like to book early, but I have had to say ‘no sorry, I don’t know whether we will be here’.

“This has had an awful impact on our business. Yes, I agree that the economy is slow, but for me, it was the fact of not being able to plan ahead more than a month or two. And then that weekend I end up with no function.”

Ms Hunt said high rents charged by landlords put a lot of pressure on businesses at Chisholm to survive and that she is assessing her options about whether to stay and consider investing in renovations or close the doors on a business that has actively supported live music for many years.

“I am a bit apprehensive about whether we should stay or go,” she said. “It is such exorbitant rent that I need those functions to be able to cover costs.”

Exorbitant rents have also claimed one of the original tenants at the Chisholm centre. Region Media can confirm Zucchini Brothers pizza shop at Chisholm will soon close due to high rents. Its stores at Tuggeranong and Jerrabomberra will remain open.

A McDonald’s spokesperson told Region Media that the company is reviewing the ACTPLA decision and is considering its options.

“No decisions have been made at this time,” the spokesperson said.

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39 Responses to No fries with that: McDonald’s development at Chisholm rejected
Jane Waller Jane Waller 4:09 pm 01 Mar 20

Kane Glas Adam Cook you can both let out a sigh of relief 😂

Suzana Jewry Suzana Jewry 8:16 am 28 Feb 20

Always fantastic food, awesome service, best chicken snitty ever

Alexander Anlezark Alexander Anlezark 7:37 am 28 Feb 20

Emma Baker Wade Noble that sucks

Paul Burgess Paul Burgess 11:17 pm 27 Feb 20

Chris. A whole bu ch of history saved?

Sol Sol 12:32 pm 27 Feb 20

Why is there not more focus on exorbitant Canberra rents that are driving small businesses to the wall, driving up living costs and destroying Canberra’s character? The silence on this issue is deafening.

Shaun Stephens Shaun Stephens 9:02 am 27 Feb 20

Wonderful news. Sick and tired of seeing trash from all the McDonald's on the streets and pavements. McDonald's can go to hell!

    Dave Blow Dave Blow 2:13 pm 27 Feb 20

    I wasn't aware Maccas forced its patrons to litter....why not direct your anger at the ones actually doing it?

    Shaun Stephens Shaun Stephens 2:23 pm 27 Feb 20

    Dave Blow I would but too many litter bugs!

    Dave Blow Dave Blow 2:24 pm 27 Feb 20

    Well..THATS true I suppose!!! Im a bus driver... its Coffee shops I should be angry at the number of cups left on the bus!

Brett Griffiths Brett Griffiths 1:45 am 27 Feb 20

They need Maccas, over the hill on the Monaro Highway near Hume with servo and other food outlets, as a major stop for travellers to the snow etc! ASAP please

    Shaun Stephens Shaun Stephens 9:03 am 27 Feb 20

    Brett Griffiths surely there are better fast food outlets that can service the area!

    Francisco Antonio Vega Francisco Antonio Vega 10:37 am 27 Feb 20

    Mcdonald's is not a need!!

    Mick Smith Mick Smith 11:40 am 27 Feb 20

    Shaun Stephens Hungry Jacks?

    Brett Griffiths Brett Griffiths 1:37 pm 27 Feb 20

    Shaun Stephens I just meant the area over the hill would be a far more appropriate area than wrecking Chisholm shops, as a service centre for travellers would be a good safety break

    Dave Blow Dave Blow 2:12 pm 27 Feb 20

    Francisco Antonio Vega And a tavern is?

Mick Smith Mick Smith 12:38 am 27 Feb 20

We need to bear in mind it wasn't Maccas that put in the proposal. It was the shopping centre owners, Chisholm Village P/L.

Francisco Antonio Vega Francisco Antonio Vega 7:22 pm 26 Feb 20

The best way to protest is to not walk in

    Vander Leal Vander Leal 11:53 pm 26 Feb 20

    Are you talking about Maccas or the Tav? Nonetheless, you still can do that either way.

    Francisco Antonio Vega Francisco Antonio Vega 11:59 pm 26 Feb 20

    Vander Leal Maccas

Nick Keech Nick Keech 6:54 pm 26 Feb 20

Daniel Maiden a Mcvictory for the little guys

Josie Conlan Josie Conlan 6:48 pm 26 Feb 20

It sure did Ashley I lived at macgregor

James Heron James Heron 6:35 pm 26 Feb 20

has anyone been near that tavern?

    Vicki Carn Vicki Carn 10:18 pm 26 Feb 20

    James Heron I met friends there for dinner one Saturday night - service and food was great, good prices, atmosphere was pretty quiet and tame - I’d happily go back 😀

    Vander Leal Vander Leal 11:51 pm 26 Feb 20

    James, go there and check. Stigma can stick for life, and you'll hear all sort of opinions, but you'll only be sure if you check yourself.

    You'll find a friendly local shop pub, with all the ups and downs.

    Jennifer Hunt Jennifer Hunt 2:52 am 28 Feb 20

    James Heron just poke your head in the door and say hello to some of my locals. They are just normal people having a social drink and get together which is how it should be. Gone are the days of smoke-filled rooms, dark corners and having to watch ones back.

    Try it, you will be surprised.

Malanie Barry Hudson Malanie Barry Hudson 6:27 pm 26 Feb 20

Good to hear that the tavern will stay after a long fight but this is the first I’ve heard of Zucc’s closing their original Chisholm shop!! 👎🏻 not happy Ange!!

    Johno Bakker Johno Bakker 9:37 pm 26 Feb 20

    Malanie Barry Hudson they pretty much forced him out 😢

    Malanie Barry Hudson Malanie Barry Hudson 10:00 pm 26 Feb 20

    Johno Bakker I know it’s been an uphill battle for a lot of the shop owners there.. I’ve done work for a few of the owners some are gone and some are still going.. just not looking forward to traveling to tugger’s for a pizza. I was living in Gilmore before they opened and delivered pizzas for Angelo and mark in their original restaurant.. sad to see him go.

Darren Baker Darren Baker 6:16 pm 26 Feb 20

Great news

Bill Bloxham Bill Bloxham 6:13 pm 26 Feb 20

The family tav lives to fight another day

Ian Don Ian Don 6:12 pm 26 Feb 20

local business don't have to worry about competition if they just ban it. No need to worry about improving quality to be competitive then.

    Darren Baker Darren Baker 6:17 pm 26 Feb 20

    Ian Don have you had dinner there or a drink

    Ian Don Ian Don 6:28 pm 26 Feb 20

    Darren Baker well if they think a Maccies will compete with them I don't think I would bother heading that way for a feed.

    Michael Chant, so there is a McDonalds at Manuka (and a rKFC down the road) and the local restaurants are still trading.

    Ian Don Ian Don 6:29 pm 26 Feb 20

    Michael Chant fair point

    Chris Corcoran Chris Corcoran 6:33 pm 26 Feb 20

    Ian Don as I understand it the proposed Maccas would have replaced the Chisholm Family Tavern not been in competition with it.

    Jennifer Hunt Jennifer Hunt 2:48 am 28 Feb 20

    Chris Corcoran yes that’s correct.

Luke Stines Luke Stines 6:07 pm 26 Feb 20

Sophie no maccas, but zucchini bros shutting 😫

Tony Webber Tony Webber 6:06 pm 26 Feb 20

Sandra Luton great news

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