Muswellbrook Shire Council approves a one-hour extension to McDonald's drive-thru operations in town

McDONALD'S plans to extend its drive-thru operations 24/7 at Muswellbrook have hit another hurdle.

The local Maitland Street franchise recently sought approval to modify its trading hours, however the request was knocked back by Muswellbrook Shire Council.

The proposal also received a total of 13 submissions, which rebuffed the development application.

Council then granted approval to allow drive-thru trading to start at 5am (an additional hour) on a daily basis for a trial period of one year.

"It's disappointing," a McDonald's spokesperson said.

"I believe the process has been going for more than a decade - and rejected two or three times."

McDonald's submitted noise impact and traffic assessments, as well as a plan of management, which detailed a number of measures to be employed at the site to manage the potential for anti-social behaviour during extended trading hours.

It included 24-hour CCTV surveillance with 60-day viewing retention; car parking closures to limit access to the drive-thru area only; incident reporting; registration of complaints; the adoption of noise management procedures; and the carrying out of regular litter patrols (four a day - after sunset, after breakfast - 11am, after lunch - 3pm, and before sunset) within a specified area of the premises immediate locality.

But, in view of all the available information and likely noise-related impacts on adjacent residential zoned land, council officers did not support the 24/7 modification.

They also felt the car parking closures - in the traffic assessment and plan of management - to limit access to the drive-thru area to manage noise impacts were not practical for south-bound vehicles, with drivers likely to veer into Thompson Street.

This, in turn, would create further noise and traffic safety issues.

McDonald's drive-thru will now operate from 5am until 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 5am until 11pm on Friday and Saturday.