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Passion, fury and extensive evidence was, in the end, not enough to drive McDonald's away from the residential streets of Balmoral.

Submitters heard yesterday that the international fast-food chain had been granted permission to build a restaurant after a battle spanning two years.

Auckland City councillor Glenda Fryer, who submitted against the proposal, said she believed the decision was "plain wrong" and encouraged the residents to take McDonald's to the Environment Court, if they were able to stump up the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost.

The secretary of the Balmoral Community group, Justine Tringham, said the commissioners' decision was "surprising" because Auckland City Council representatives present at the hearing seemed to agree the development should not go ahead.

The residents have "major concerns" about traffic as it is estimated there will be an extra 14,000 vehicle movements per week as McDonald's customers try to access the restaurant.

"What this shows is that the commissioners don't care about residential amenity," Mrs Tringham said.

She said the only victory for the residents had been to ensure a 10m-high McDonald's sign was not to be erected.

Residents' concerns extend from the safety of the 27 children on the walking school bus, to the disruption of having the restaurant open from 6am until 10pm.

Mrs Tringham said her 66-year-old mother lived next door to the site and was "devastated".

McDonald's managing director Mark Hawthorne said in a written statement that the company was "naturally pleased" with the decision granting resource consent to develop a new restaurant in Balmoral.

"The commissioners found that the new restaurant will attract economic and employment benefits to Balmoral stating that McDonald's will provide valuable employment and training opportunities for a significant number of mainly young people," he said.

He said McDonald's went to significant lengths to develop a restaurant design that would fit in with the Balmoral shopping centre.