Controversial plans to extend the opening hours of a North Cheam McDonald’s restaurant’s drive-thru have been approved.

The fast-food branch, in London Road, will now operate 24 hours a day compared to opening from 5am to 1am the following morning.

It follows after the proposals were initially rejected by Sutton Council but the decision was overruled by the Planning Inspectorate in January.

Councillor Samantha Bourne, vice-chair of the licensing committee, said: "I am very disappointed that the decision went this way, despite the points made well by residents.

“The fact that McDonald’s paid for such esteemed legal representation, in the form of a barrister, meant that they took our objection seriously and were prepared to fight their corner.

“I am proud residents were prepared to take the fight to them and stand up to such a multi-national company very used to getting their own way and taking residents for granted."

While the drive-thru facility will be open 24 hours a day, the restaurant itself will remain closed at 1am in the morning.

Among the conditions required prior to approval is a digital CCTV system being installed which will include an alarm function that will sound if it’s faulty or not recording.

All McDonald’s shift managers will have training on drug or alcohol awareness and conflict management, while at least six staff members will be working on the premises during licensable hours after being agreed to with the Metropolitan Police.

There will also be signage that asks people to ‘leave quietly’ and any recorded music should be played at a low level.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that a late license has been granted for our London Road restaurant in Sutton, this means that the restaurant will be open until 1am. The drive-thru will remain operational 24 hours a day.

“As a proud and responsible member of the local community we will continue to work closely with and listen to the concerns of local residents and community groups.”

Residents attended the meeting on March 26 who had previously expressed concerns over the plans.

Among issues raised were beliefs of an increase in anti-social behaviour and noise distburance during the new hours, however this was not supported by inpsector Catherine Jack in her report published on January 22.

Councillor Mary Burstow, chair of the licensing committee, said: “It is interesting to note that, as part of the licensing conditions, the committee still required six staff members to be working at the premises as part of Annex 2.”