McDonald’s to open new multi-million-pound UK restaurant on Buffet Island

Fast food chain giants McDonald's is about to spend several millions-of-pounds on a new huge restaurant after submitting planning for an infamous derelict site.

The red-and-yellow brand is looking to buy Buffet Island in Walsall, and turn it into a flagship eatarie, employing 120 people in the process.

Buffet Island was a popular Chinese restaurant in the town but was left to rot after closing in 2020.

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Despite being somewhat of a local landmark, having formerly been a pub, it was under threat of being knocked down.

But despite protests from locals, the McDonald's is looking to flatten it and build a new restaurant on top of it – and it's all because the fast-food giant claims that building a restaurant there is their way of “meeting customer demands”.

A proposal states: “The proposals provide the opportunity for McDonald’s to meet a long-standing requirement for a restaurant to serve this catchment area, to meet customer demand and introduce additional choice in the market.

“The relevant planning policy at national and local level have been reviewed and are supportive of proposals to develop a McDonald’s restaurant, with associated works at Buffet Island.

“The proposed development represents a multi-million pound investment creating jobs both during the construction and operation phases, resulting in many associated economic benefits for the local area.”

When plans were originally announced about it being flattened, locals were outraged.

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According to Birmingham Mail, many flocked to social media to express their horror, and tell stories of their connections to the building's storied past.

One woman said: “My mom said the Americans used it as a Naffi during the war. They had socials there with locals think. I went on my first date with my husband 54 years ago when at the side of the pub there was a disco. Mom and dad celebrated their Golden Wedding there in 1999.

“So many happy memories , even going to Buffet Island with family. Shame it has to go but life moves on.”

She suggested the space could be used to build housing – which is not even close to what could end up happening.

Another wrote: “Could it not be used as a Youth Club/Community Centre or something to benefit the local area? Or even turn it back into a pub."

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