Where did McDonald's rule out for second Dumfries site?

McDonald's veggie burger
McDonald's already has one drive-through in Dumfries but it wants to open another [Getty Images]

The burger giant McDonald's has submitted plans for a second drive-through restaurant on the outskirts of Dumfries in the south of Scotland.

It already operates one in the Lochside area - but now wants to open another near the Annan Road, close to the town's bypass.

Planning regulations dictate that an assessment must be carried out of potential town centre sites before developing at an out-of-town location.

The fast food firm has ruled out a wide variety of buildings or land in Dumfries before settling on its preferred location.

But what were the places that it found unsuitable or unavailable?

The convenience store

Old Spar
The Spar on the Whitesands closed its doors a couple of years ago [BBC]

Retailers Spar had an outlet on the Whitesands in Dumfries for many years.

However, the site - with a post office counter inside - closed its doors in 2022.

An assessment carried out for McDonald's found the building was too big for its needs and also without the scope to accommodate a drive-through lane.

It said there was no potential to convert the building and even with demolition and redevelopment it was "unclear" whether the project would be acceptable in design or transport terms.

The property is now occupied by a gym.

The baroque town house

Nith Place
A category A-listed building was another site refused [BBC]

A category A-listed building on Nith Place was looked at as a potential location.

The baroque town house - probably built in the middle of the 18th Century - was more recently used as offices.

Historic Environment Scotland notes that it was built for Archibald Malcolm who was town clerk when Bonnie Prince Charlie visited Dumfries in 1745.

McDonald's ruled the site out as having too little ground floor space and noted that due to its historic significance demolition would not be supported "except in exceptional circumstances".

The old cinema

Dumfries has been without a large-scale cinema for six years [BBC]

Dumfries has been without a large-screen cinema since the Odeon on Shakespeare Street closed its doors in 2018.

The building was left empty last year when the bingo club which continued to operate on the site also shut.

It too fell foul of insufficient floor space and was found to have no dedicated parking available or space for a drive-through lane.

The cannabis factory

A former discount store on the town's Irish Street hit the headlines in 2018 when cannabis plants with a potential street value of about £300,000 were discovered inside.

The former Original Factory Shop - close to the sheriff court - had been empty for a number of years.

The assessment carried out for McDonald's found it also lacked sufficient ground floor space.

Questions were also raised about whether a drive-through would be an acceptable form of development in the area.

The old book shop

Church Crescent
A former book shop on Church Crescent was also considered [BBC]

The former Home and Floor Store - once Blacklock and Farries book shop - on Church Crescent was also considered.

It was found to be "significantly larger" than the company would need.

In addition, it was concluded that its layout - over multiple floors - would not meet McDonald's "operational requirements".

It was also concluded not to be suitable for its plans.

The others

A range of other sites were also examined, including a former furniture superstore in Friars Vennel, units at the Cuckoo Bridge retail park, land at the Peel Centre and a vacant greenfield site at Heathhall.

None of them was found to be suitable and, after a "comprehensive" assessment, the company concluded there were no sites nearer the town centre which would suit its plans.

It has now settled on the Annan Road plot as its preferred one for a multi-million pound development it says will create the equivalent of 80 full-time jobs.

Dumfries and Galloway Council's planning committee will be asked to approve the scheme in due course.