By Gabrielle Stuart

A new McDonald's in Christchurch has been given the tick of approval by the city council - but not by the community.

Many residents are angry they were not given a chance to have a say on the plan, which has been approved by the city council without any community consultation.

The site chosen for the new restaurant, on the corner of Ferry Rd and Heathcote St, is less than 1km from two primary schools, and two early childhood centres.

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It is 2.4km from the fast food outlets around Eastgate Shopping Centre, which include another McDonald's, a KFC, Burger King and Dominos Pizza.

St Anne's School principal Dallas Wichman said having fast food so close would be very tempting for children walking to or from school.

"When schools are trying to teach healthy eating and those smells are constantly wafting over the fence it's pretty hard to get the message across, and I expect we'll have similar issues," he said.

A petition was organised by Linwood community members last year asking the city council to put restrictions on where fast food outlets were allowed to open.

But the city council decided it did not have the legal power to do that.

Linwood city councillor Yani Johanson said that was "totally unfair" on local communities.

"The city council decided it was too difficult. I just think it's a shame because this kind of case is what we were trying to prevent," he said.

The community was not allowed a say because "food and beverage activities" were already allowed in the zone, and the Government's Christchurch District Plan set guidelines minimising the amount of consultation.

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Woolston Residents Association chairwoman Jackie Simons said she believed a lot of people would have made submissions on the plan if they could.

"We're always disappointed when the public aren't consulted," she said.

Kindercare Woolston centre manager Melissa Fisk said she had heard a lot of concern from parents about the plan.

She said it was unfair they were not given a chance to have a say, or to talk about conditions set for the restaurant.

The restaurant has been approved to open 24 hours, seven days a week, which she believed would cause problems.

"There's enough trouble around here without people hanging around at all hours," she said.

A McDonald's Restaurants NZ spokesman said it had worked through the proper resource consent process.

"Our local franchisees are celebrating 30 years in Christchurch this year, and as with any new restaurant development, we are sensitive to the communities in which we operate," he said.

- Star.kiwi