A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a drive-in McDonald's and a supermarket at Besses junction was given the green light.

Bury's planning committee agreed an outline application for the development at the junction of Bury New Road and Higher Lane.

Delta Guard Developments, of Manchester, still had to get reserved matters permission from Bury Council before it could begin work on the former Magnet Southerns site.

The company's proposal was to build a 500sq m McDonald's restaurant with a 1,000sq m Aldi supermarket behind.

Parking spaces for 170 cars were planned for the two buildings, with the access point off Higher Lane.

Hundreds of local residents were shocked at the plans because they feared there would be an increase in traffic.

About 400 people put their names to a petition against the development and Pilkington Park's Labour group also condemned the idea.

An official Labour statement read: "The branch expresses the most serious alarm at the planned McDonald's and supermarket development in the area of Fountain Place.

"Such a development would cause serious disruption to the quality of life of the many elderly people in the immediate area and serious inconvenience to travellers in the area."

Despite the outcry, the council considered the scheme unlikely to disrupt the environment.

Chief planning officer Jim Metcalfe said the petition was taken very seriously and councillors consulted residents when they visited the site.

The main worry was over traffic congestion, but Mr Metcalfe said the developers appeared to have thought out access very carefully.

He said: "Access will be off Higher Lane and we were advised by the director of engineering that this arrangement was sufficient to deal with the expected traffic."