BURGER lovers will be eating at a seventh McDonald’s restaurant in Swindon before the end of the year after planning permission was granted for an outlet in Ashworth Road.

Swindon Council granted the plans,on Tuesday.

The two-storey restaurant and drive-thru will be built on the boarded-up former site of the Abbots Cross petrol station, with traffic entering the site from Great Western Way.

There are expected to be 65 full and part-time staff, with all but the management team set to come from the surrounding community.

The restaurant will have 45 car parking bays, with eight spaces for motorcycles, two disability spaces, six cycle spaces and two bays for heavy goods vehicles.

Paul Booth, the franchisee for all McDonald’s restaurants in Swindon, said: “We are pleased that our plans to build a new restaurant in Swindon have been approved and planning conditions are currently being discharged.

“The drive-thru restaurant will bring over 65 new jobs, both full and part-time, and is expected to open before the end of the year.

“As the franchisee of six restaurants across Swindon, I am pleased that we are able to further invest in the area and look forward to working closely with the local community on our plans.”

The nearest existing McDonald’s restaurant is in Tewkesbury Way, at West Swindon District Centre, a five-minute drive from the site at Bridgemead.

The application was made by Peter Lovett and John Moulton, who are both connected with the Dick Lovett Group of car dealerships.

John, the finance director of the Dick Lovett Group, said the site in question is owned by the group’s executive pension scheme, which had no plans for the vacant site when approached by McDonald’s.

The hamburger giant then made an offer to Dick Lovett for the site, which was conditional on it receiving planning permission for the restaurant.

Now this has been granted, John expects the sale of the site to McDonald’s to go through in the near future.

The application was met with some opposition from residents in the surrounding area.

Richard Archer, of Stonybeck Close, said: “This development will add traffic problems for those of us who work along there and already struggle to get out of Ashworth Road at peak times of the day.

“Also, we will find more litter disposed of along there causing nuisance to our vehicles.”

Keith Butler, of car dealership Fish Brothers, said: “While I welcome the development of derelict land and the creation of local jobs, the effect of the increased traffic trying to access the Bridgemead roundabout must be considered further.

“We need part-time traffic lights to allow traffic coming on to the roundabout from Paddington Drive to pull out.

“The queues in the evening are already bad and it can take 10 minutes to travel only a few yards.”