McDonalds for Louth? Speculation mounts over vacant site

There is renewed speculation about future of a vacant plot of land next to the Shell garage on Louth’s industrial estate - after it was revealed that two drive through outlets are expected to be built there.

McDonalds said that Louth is being considered for a new restaurant.

It was previously anticipated that just one outlet - a coffee shop - would be built on the vacant land.

A planning application for the proposed coffee shop and an extension to the existing parking at the Shell garage was approved in November 2017, and the car park extension was constructed earlier this year. However, since those works were completed, there has been no sign of any progress regarding the proposed coffee shop, or any other developments on the empty grassland.

The Leader approached the owners of the site, AF Blakemore, to ask why progress had stalled - and the company then revealed that the vacant land has since been sold to an unidentified investment company.

The neighbouring land has been sold to an unidentified investment company.

A spokesman for AF Blakemore Retail told the Leader: “I can confirm we have sold the land to an investment company, and to the best of our knowledge it is still going to be developed with two drive through outlets.”

The spokesman added that they could not disclose the identity of the investment company, as the sale was subject to a confidentiality agreement.

The revelation that two drive through outlets are expected to be built, rather than just one, has led to speculation over what other brand may have their eye on coming to Louth - and whether one of the two outlets will still be a coffee shop as planned.

According to ELDC’s portal, no new applications have been submitted for the vacant land at this stage.

Back in 2002, fast food giant McDonalds was granted permission to build a restaurant on the same site - which was said to be likely to have created 50 to 60 new jobs.

However, the following year, McDonalds shelved the plans after deciding Louth was too small to sustain it - although their agent added that there was still a chance the restaurant would revisit their plans in the future.

On Monday, a McDonalds spokesman said: “Louth is one of a number of areas being considered in which to develop new restaurants and we look forward to exploring possible opportunities.”

The chain would be required to submit a new application if they want to build a restaurant on the site, as their previous planning permission will have lapsed after five years.

An East Lindsey District Council spokesman confirmed that no ‘formal applications’ had been received for a McDonalds on that site, at this stage.