A MONMOUTH action group, set up to oppose a proposal to open a drive-through coffee shop and restaurant, a public house and retail unit on land off the Dixton Roundabout will hold a public meeting at the Shire Hall in Monmouth next month.

The Gateway to Wales Action Group has serious concerns about the proposal to build a McDonald’s, Costa Coffee, Pets At Home and Marston’s public house/restaurant on one of the main entrances to Monmouth between New Dixton Road and the A40.

The group says while it supports the on-going development of Monmouth and has no objection to the proposed businesses opening in more appropriate locations it believes the chosen site is the wrong place.

The proposal has divided more than 1,700 residents who voiced their views on ‘for’ and ‘against’ Facebook groups, set up in November last year. More than 1,200 people support the scheme, with almost 900 saying they were against it.

The scheme, which will create 142 new jobs, was presented to Monmouth Town Council on October by agents DPP Ltd on behalf of Avenbury Ventures.

The group’s chairwoman, Elaine Phillips, said concerns include traffic and pedestrian safety issues, environmental concerns such as pollution and flooding, the effect on the town centre of an out-of-town development and having a fast food restaurant so close to Monmouth Comprehensive.

Monmouth Civic Society has also raised concern about the effect it would have on the character of the town.

The developer considers the scheme to represent an opportunity to provide a new and improved retail and leisure facilities for local residents and visitors to Monmouth.

A report by DPP UK Ltd said the proposal to regenerate this long-standing vacant site represents a major opportunity for a sensitively-designed commercial scheme which will provide much-needed employment opportunities for local people.

It adds that the scheme will assist in remedying an existing deficiency by meeting the refreshment needs of passing motorists.

The meeting is at 6.30pm in The Shire Hall, Monmouth, on February 4.

The application has yet to be considered by Monmouthshire council.