In McDonald’s Australia Ltd v Greater Bendigo SC  VCAT 610, the McDonald’s corporation has been successful in obtaining a permit for a convenience restaurant in a Residential Zone. In its reasons the Tribunal acknowledged that such use is sometimes incompatible with a residential neighbourhood but resolved the issue in the following terms:
- Convenience restaurants can have a range of amenity impacts as set out in Clause 52.20. These were discussed in McDonalds Australia v Knox CC (2011) VCAT 142 as follows:
Convenience restaurants do have the potential to contribute to adverse off site amenity impacts as a consequence of the combination of traffic movements onto and out of the site, late night operation, lighting, the congregation and movement of people on the site, the generation of noise and litter. The applicant company does have an established reputation for adopting and implementing management practices aimed at minimising the adverse affects of these uses and there is no reason for me to conclude that similar approaches would not be applied here.
- I am satisfied that the following amenity impacts are addressed in this proposal:
- The built form is generally low scale and well setback from neighbouring properties;
- The property to the north enjoys some 17m separation from the common boundary. A 3m wide landscaping strip and acoustic fence are proposed on the subject site which will limit amenity impacts to the north.
- There are no overshadowing impacts;
- The proposed boundary fencing (1.8m acoustic timber fence) is consistent with standard residential fences;
- Direct overlooking is restricted by the proposed boundary fencing and associated boundary landscaping;
- Lighting can be designed to avoid spill to neighbouring properties;
- Patron management, while a key issue for these uses has been addressed in the conditions;
- Odour from cooking is managed through other legislation; and
- Litter is addressed in the conditions.