STROUD bowls players have this week accused burger giant Macdonald's and Stroud District Council of ignoring the views of the people of the town.

Stroud Indoor Bowls Club will be a next-door neighbour of the Macdonald's restaurant when it is built in Merrywalks and will have to share an access road with Macdonald's customers.

Club members feel there will be traffic chaos on Merrywalks when the drive-through restaurant opens and that road safety will be affected. The club made these points to the district council when the Macdonald's planning application was being considered but claim their objections were ignored.

They are also furious that Macdonald's has not contacted the club at any time during the application process.

"We have expressed our concerns to Stroud District Council and have been completely ignored," said club president Ronald Powell on Friday.

"And despite the fact that we are right next door to the site where the restaurant will be Macdonald's have not contacted us once, even out of courtesy. We've been ignored as if we didn't exist."

He also pointed out that the number of objections to the application had vastly outweighed the letters of support and that the county highways department had recommended that the application be refused on the grounds of highway safety.

"It seems to be that the application has been pushed through without reference to anyone," Mr Powell added.

The club has 475 members an an average 220 cars pass through the car park barrier every day.

"If you add all the Macdonald's traffic the whole of Merrywalks will grind to a halt," said Mr Powell. "I am worried about the safety of my members."

SDC's head of development services, Barry Wyatt, said this week that all the highway safety and congestion issues raised by the county council and other objectors had been carefully considered.

"We got back to the applicants Macdonalds and they produced a very detailed assessment of the safety and congestion issues," Mr Wyatt said.

"The assessemnt showed that there would be some increase in congestion but it would be within acceptable limits, visibility was also within acceptable limits."

Macdonald's said this week that the company had every intention of contacting the bowls club.

"We certainly will be in touch," said corporate affairs manager Robert Parker.

"We like to keep people posted about what's happening and when it happens.

"It is also important that they have a contact name and number and they will certainly be given that and we will be keeping any disruption to a minimum."

He added that some work would start on the Stroud site within the next couple of weeks or so but that the restaurant was unlikely to be open for business until the new year.