A BID has been launched to to drum up support for McDonald’s plans to open a fifth restaurant in Colchester...but it has backfired.

The firm is hoping to open a new drive-thru eatery at the Turner Ride Retail Park, in Petrolea Close.

However, plans have proved extremely controversial amongst residents, with almost 250 speaking out in opposition to the planning application.

A Facebook page called A New McDonald’s for Colchester has been created in response to the opposition.

The group, which has 60 plus members, links to a consultation website which asks residents to speak out in support of the new restaurant.

The website says: “If you want to see a new McDonald’s at Turner Rise Retail Park, you need to make your voice heard to your local representatives at Colchester Council.

“We need you to support the scheme with your comments to help bring forward this much-needed scheme to deliver:

"More than 65 new, much needed local jobs, including career progression for people of all ages and backgrounds.

"Increased investment in the area, as well as business rates for Colchester Council to spend on the provision of key local services.

"Increased spending in the local economy."

There is a link to a form included on the site in order to send supportive comments to Colchester Council’s planning department.

But there are now 243 objections online to the proposals with just 22 expressions of support.

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Residents have raised concerns about the increase in traffic around North Station, already a congestion hotspot, and the affect on residents’ health another McDonald’s would have.

Applicant Schroder UK Real Estate Fund has already submitted a plan to try to alleviate residents’ concerns over congestion.

The chain already has restaurants in Colchester High Street, Cowdray Avenue, Tollgate in Stanway and at Junction 28 of the A12.

The new drive-thru would be located between PizzaHut and Go Outdoors at the retail park, which is home to a number of retail and food outlets and next door to the town’s Asda store.

Colchester Council will have the final say on the plans.