Swans fans 1 McDonald's 0: Fast food giant won't stand in way of growing Liberty
THOUSANDS of Swans fans will breathe easier today after McDonald's scrapped its restaurant plans by the Liberty Stadium.
The news comes as proposals to expand the stadium to go to 35,000 capacity were discussed at a conference in the city yesterday.
Fast food giant McDonald's gained planning permission for a drive-through restaurant from Swansea Council in February — a decision that drew scathing criticism from Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins and a backlash among many fans.
Mr Jenkins claimed the decision, made by a committee of councillors against officers' recommendation, could jeopardise stadium expansion proposals.
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McDonald's has stressed it had no knowledge of any expansion proposal — and no planning application as such has been submitted to date, despite comments by Swansea City director Martin Morgan, which can be found on page 18 of tonight's Evening Post. McDonald's, meanwhile, wants to build a restaurant beside the nearby Swansea Tennis Centre.
"We have submitted plans to the council for a restaurant on an alternative site at Morfa Retail Park, to allow for expansion plans to go ahead at Liberty Stadium," said a McDonald's spokeswoman.
"We were not made aware of any plans to expand the stadium during the planning process for the site adjacent to the ground, as this was raised after permission to build had been granted and not during the public consultation process.
"We would never knowingly obstruct any plans that have been drawn up to extend the stadium, which is why we are so surprised this was not raised during the 18-month open public consultation period.
"With so many of our staff lifelong Swans fans we fully understand the reaction, which is why we are now working with the council and the club to find an outcome to suit all parties."
A relieved Mr Jenkins said: "As a club we are very pleased that McDonald's and the council have worked together to find a solution.
"We are delighted that all parties concerned now see the importance of the future development of the Liberty Stadium. It will allow more supporters from the community to watch the Swans at the Liberty with improved facilities and match day experience."
The club has said it is continuing to investigate expansion proposals, adding that further details will follow in due course.