Barossa whine keeps Big Mac down

Fine food and wine lovers are among those who have fought a battle to keep the McDonald's fast food chain out of the Barossa Valley.

Fine food and wine lovers are among those who have fought a battle to keep the McDonald’s fast food chain out of the Barossa Valley.

But supporters said rejection of a development application was a missed opportunity for the wine and food area, north-east of Adelaide.

The Barossa Council Development Assessment Panel voted six votes to one against a proposal for a retail precinct at Nuriootpa, including the drive-through fast food eatery.

Pam Staehr made a submission to council in favour of the plan.

She said it was a disappointing outcome, particularly for younger people in the Barossa area.

“Children need somewhere to go with their parents, especially smaller children,” she said.

“You can’t go to gourmet food with children – and wine. They need something for family.

“You could do with it in the Barossa and it’s also bringing in business and places for young people to work after school for jobs.”

Another member of the Barossa community, Nick Slape, was an opponent of the plan and said commonsense had prevailed.

“It’s a combination of issues. It’s about traffic, it would be a high traffic generator and that’s an issue,” he said.

“The impact on the amenity of local residential property owners, so if we’re going to have that sort of development it needs to be in the town centre in support of all the other activities in there and not competing against it.”

Other Barossa residents said their opposition was not about elitist foodies getting their way.

Howard Duncan was at the council meeting and said the application was rejected because a planned drive-through restaurant did not fit in with the council’s planning policies or with the area’s zoning.

He said it did not mean fast food restaurants could never be built in the Barossa.

“This does not preclude McDonald’s or any other fast food business from setting up shop in the Barossa Valley,” he said.

“All it says is that if they want to come here, they’ve got to set up shop within the provisions of the local Barossa Council plans.”

Developer Ian Mader is examining his options after the formal rejection.

The Barossa is not the first tourist area to fight a plan for McDonald’s to move in; others such as the Blue Mountains in New South Wales have seen lengthy battles against planned fast food outlets.

© 2008 Australian Broadcasting Corporation



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