A MCDONALD'S restaurant at a busy service station on the M5 will soon be extended, with a new drive-thru lane being installed in the car park.

Sedgemoor Services are between junction 22 (Highbridge and Burnham) and junction 21 (Weston-super-Mare) and include a McDonalds’s on the southbound side.

Roadchef Motorways Ltd., which runs the wider facility, applied to in January 2023 to extend the existing restaurant to the north and construct a drive-thru lane, removing 23 car parking spaces in the process.

Somerset Council has now finally given these proposals the green light, with construction expected to get under way later in the year.

The new drive-thru will have two lanes with a picnic area being created next to the main car park, providing an outdoor eating area for customers during the summer months or for when the extended restaurant area is full.

The development is not expected to create any additional jobs, and there will be no change to the current operating hours of the restaurant.

A spokesman for PPL (Northampton) Ltd. (representing the applicant) said: “The increased use of drive-thru facilities by the travelling public, following not only personal choice but also the pandemic, has resulted in operators wanting to provide these additional facilities for customers.

“The site currently benefits from a Costa Coffee drive-thru and its success has demonstrated the preferred choice for a certain clientèle.

“This proposal provides the travelling public with another option for taking a break on their journey.

“The current arrangement of the amenity building, with the restaurant kitchen located on the existing external wall of the amenity building, allows for a solution to be provided for the facility in the construction of the drive-thru lane to an area of hard-standing with minimal building extensions to afford the pay and collect windows.”

The development was approved through the delegated powers of the council’s planning officers, rather than a public decision by its planning committee north (which handles major applications in the former Sedgemoor area).

A spokesman said: “The proposal relates to the extension of an existing service station building and does not seek to encroach built development further into the countryside.

“It is considered that the proposal is of an acceptable size and scale that would not have a detrimental impact on visual amenity, highways safety or ecology.”