Controversial plans to build a two-storey McDonald's on the old Gala Bingo site opposite Rugby Town Hall have been approved by Rugby's planning committee.
Concerns over traffic, littering, anti-social behaviour and doubt over the need for another McDonald's in the area have been some of the reasons that residents, councillors and Rugby council's environmental health department have previously given for opposing the plan.
The proposal to build the restaurant passed at a planning meeting last night, June 19, despite opposition from Lib Dem and Labour members of the planning committee.
This will be the the fourth McDonald's in the Rugby area (if the A45 branch is included), and the second in the town centre - with the Market Place McDonald's located only around 320 metres (or a five-minute walk) away.
Cllr Jim Ellis, speaking after the meeting, said: "Labour councillor members of the planning committee would like to say that we are disappointed that the Tory members of the planning committee voted unanimously to give planning consent to a two story McDonald's opposite the town hall on the Gala site tonight.
"The Labour and Liberal members used the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) and made contextual, justified material objection, but when it came to the vote, all Tory members voted to allow for the McDonald's to be built.
"We made fierce, justified argument, but we were outvoted.
"Other members were not prepared to listen. Because of this, our personal response is to be on record as opposing the development because we strongly feel this is the wrong decision."
Cllr Ellis said both he, Cllr kieren Brown and Cllr Barbara Brown all felt the same way about the decision.
A spokesperson for Rugby Lib Dems took to the group's Facebook page last night, writing: "Conservative councillors on the Planning Committee voted in favour of the drive through.
"Cllr Neil Sandison and Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, both Lib Dems, moved and seconded a refusal but this was rejected. Where is the vision and ambition for the town centre?"
Advertiser readers reacted strongly to the news last night, with a Facebook post written by this newspaper attracting 322 comments - most of which expressing anger and disappointment over the plan's approval.
One reader wrote: "How about encouraging more variety, more independents, more of a reason to visit not more of a reason to stay away? That sort of fast food provision is plentiful already. Disappointing."
Click here for more information about the plans.
The Advertiser will publish a report of the happenings during the meeting shortly.