A COUNTY Durham neighbourhood has been left living in a fast food "dump" after claims McDonald's and KFC litter has reached "a new level."

Residents living near the Durham City Retail Park, near Belmont, say they have been blighted by food and drink cartons repeatedly strewn across the area in recent months.

One man is now calling on the council to take action, while claiming there has been an "explosion" of litter since McDonald's opened its latest drive-thru, earlier this year.

KFC has since responded saying they are working on plans to address the concerns, while McDonald's has said it is now investigating the issue further.

Residents claim the area is regularly strewn with chain-branded cartons and wrappers left in bushes, on the roads, by pavements – and even on the nearby slip roads leading onto the A690.

The Northern Echo: A resident took these pictures showing some of the rubbish strewn near KFC Picture: CONTRIBUTORA resident took these pictures showing some of the rubbish strewn near KFC Picture: CONTRIBUTOR

One said: "All the way along through Gilesgate, Shincliffe, Sherburn House, Carville, Belmont bag after bag of Mcdonald's waste as I drove past on my way to work. "Red cartons everywhere.

"KFC bins overflowing, the bushes round KFC are thick with red cartons, the slip lanes on and off the A690 thick with Mcdonald's and KFC litter.

"The freshly mown grass around Belmont full of shredded Mcdonald's wrappers.

"We now live in a McDonald's and KFC dump - thanks for that."

The Northern Echo: The KFC drive-thru at the retail park Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTThe KFC drive-thru at the retail park Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Last night, MP for Durham, Mary Foy condemned the actions of those responsible as she said she had already raised the issues.

She told The Northern Echo: "Litter is a huge blight on our communities wherever it comes from, and it is really disappointing that these two companies seem to be the source of the problem in and around Gilesgate Moor and Dragonville.

"I have already made contact with KFC to raise these issues, and I understand they are working on a plan to address the situation which I hope will be in place soon. I would also urge McDonald's to do more to ensure that litter that is being generated in the area is collected.

"I must also remind anyone that is taking food away from these two outlets that litter should not be left lying anywhere.

"It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we are taking our litter home and disposing of it in the right way, and it is in fact an offence to leave litter on the ground, potentially attracting a £150 fine if caught."

The Northern Echo: McDonald's opened at the retail park earlier this year Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTMcDonald's opened at the retail park earlier this year Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Ms Foy added that it would be helpful to see more council bins in the area and that she is raising this with the authority.

Responding to the concerns raised, Durham County Council said it was committed to continuing to work with retailers in the retail park to address the issues.

Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager, said: “We are aware of issues with littering at Durham City Retail Park and, as in any location, this sort of behaviour is unacceptable.

“We encourage everyone to take care of the environment by disposing of their waste responsibly.

“We are committed to continuing to work with businesses on the park to address the issues and have carried out duty of care visits to KFC and been told that the company carries out litter picks four times a day.

“We are aware of an open top bin at the park and will be suggesting this is covered to keep waste contained."

“Refuse storage and recycling statements were submitted to our planning department in relation to the McDonald’s site on the park and any activity which is in breach of their contents will be investigated.

Mr Hoult said the council cannot clean private areas, but that it does regularly collect litter on the retail park and its neighbourhood wardens were actively issuing fixed penalty notices to offenders.

Responding, KFC said that it does not want to be a "bad neighbour" and that its teams conduct regular litter picks around the Dragonville restaurant and that it is working on a plan to address concerns.

A KFC spokesperson said: " Further afield, we have also made a commitment to take part in community litter picks each month. We want to keep the area as clean and tidy as possible, so we do also ask that our fans make sure their litter makes it safely to the bin as well.”

McDonald's said it had not been made aware of increased littering until recently and said it would be investigating the issue.

A spokesperson for McDonald's said: “We take our responsibility around litter very seriously, so it is deeply disappointing that a minority of our customers dispose of our packaging irresponsibly.

"For nearly 40 years, McDonald’s restaurant teams have carried out daily litter patrols in their local communities, collecting all litter not just McDonald’s branded packaging.

"This is the first time our restaurant in Durham has been made aware of increased littering and will be further investigating the issue.

"We would encourage customers to inform our crew members of any litter hot spots and we will look to include it in our litter patrols wherever possible.”


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