LONDON — The county of Rutland, England’s smallest by some measures, has for years had varied gastronomic options: pub food, Indian cuisine, tapas and even a restaurant with a Michelin star.
But it was the only English county not to have a McDonald’s — until now.
The local council on Tuesday approved an application by McDonald’s for a new restaurant in the county, a decision that many in the area viewed as a surrender of England’s last fortress to fast-food’s signature golden arches, despite a promise by the company that the outlet would provide at least 65 jobs.
Among residents’ objections to the McDonald’s, which is planned near the town of Oakham, were worries over litter, noise, obesity and crime.
Rutland, a rural county with a population of about 37,000 according to the most recent census, has been noted for its serenity and beauty. Hailed as “Britain’s best rural area for quality of life” by Halifax bank in 2015, it includes the historic towns of Oakham and Uppingham.
“There are numerous independent food retailers in and around Oakham that provide healthy, good priced food alternatives,” Claire Baines, a Rutland resident, told the council, in one of 80 written responses by members of the public before the meeting that approved the application.
“Why, in this day and age of spiraling obesity, diabetes and other health issues,” she asked, “would you encourage the introduction of a fast food restaurant serving nothing but junk food?”
Graham Show, who lives in Oakham, also opposed the opening of a McDonald’s branch including a drive-through, writing that litter from such outlets was “disgraceful” because “people throw the leftover packaging out of their cars.”
Others said they hoped a McDonald’s might help modernize the county and reduce unemployment.
“Rutland is a stunning county but it could do with moving on with the times,” Victoria Wallace wrote to the council, and Nicola Tyers wrote that the fast-food outlet would provide “the younger generation in the area with jobs and a place to meet with friends in a safe and friendly environment.”
Gordon Brown, the senior local council member responsible for planning, said on Tuesday that the planning officers and council members had to be impartial when deciding on any new development, despite any passionate opinions on the matter among members of the public.
The new McDonald’s, he said in a statement, was “approved because it would not have an adverse impact on neighboring homes and businesses or the character of the surrounding area, and will create a significant number of new jobs on land that is set aside for employment rather than houses.”
The council said that the public’s feedback had led to changes to the initial proposal, including more parking for disabled people and additional trash cans around the site.
McDonald’s also agreed to carry out “no fewer than three litter picks each day” and to pick up all litter found within 100 meters (about 110 yards) of the site, Mr. Brown said.