Smallest English county finally caves to welcome McDonald's to town

Rutland residents have supported the opening of the fast-food chain.

The menu may differ at McDonald's locations around the world, but the iconic golden arches have international appeal and now they'll reach even the farthest corners of the smallest counties on the map.

After years of being known as the last holdout against playing host to fast-food chains, Rutland, England, has opened its heartland to the restaurant, according to The Guardian.

The landlocked East Midlands county with a population of under 40,000 has long been concerned over what a drive-thru restaurant could implicate for their area. But according to The Guardian, councillors granted permission on Tuesday for a 24-hour McDonald's.

The fast-food giant reportedly first applied last June to build a restaurant in Oakham, on the edge of the county, but citizens and county officers have debated the possibility ever since.

People who objected the council planning officers' initial proposal cited reasons like an increase in litter, damage to the local economy and potential antisocial behavior and concern over depreciation of local property values.

Oakham resident Robert Kent told the council, "I think in an area of outstanding natural beauty and a traditional market town adopting the banality of the golden arches would be a sad day," The Guardian reported.

McDonald's UK has daily litter patrols conducted by staff at a three times per day minimum that includes litter not just produced from their own packaging, according to the company.

The proposed new restaurant site would be near "a bypass that connects the town with larger cities such as Nottingham and Leicester."

McDonald’s has over 1,270 restaurants in the U.K. and employs more than 120,000 people and has contributed over £54.5 billion to the U.K. economy in the last 45 years, according to the company's economic impact report.

Additionally, McDonald's has taken steps to be responsible for the environment and aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 36% between 2015 and 2030.

"Our restaurants use 100% renewable electricity and we are working hard towards our goal of sending zero waste to landfill," the company stated in the report.

In the East Midlands alone, McDonald's contributed £245 million to the national economy as of 2017.