Outrage as McDonald's set to open near two Christchurch schools

A Christchurch suburb has declared war on fast-food giant McDonald's, with a proposed new restaurant within walking distance of two schools.

Locals in the working class suburb of Woolston say there are already too many fast-food outlets in the area, and the proposed restaurant is being built to fleece the pockets of the young and poor.

It's located around 700 metres from one school and just 500 metres from another.

Local principals are worried it could be an irresistible temptation as students walk to and from school.

"We're saturated with fast food outlets," Blair Dravitski, principal of Linwood Ave School, told Three's The Project.

He's concerned about the cost of the food. Frozen soft drinks are available for just $1, with heavily salted meals at an affordable price too.

"That's not necessarily parents giving children a dollar to go get a frozen drink, but often pocket money and things like that are in that vicinity."

Linwood and Shirley are among the suburbs with the lowest median income, at just $42,000 to $47,000. In comparison, the suburb with the highest median income is around $102,100 to $128,300.

Around the working class suburbs of Linwood, Shirley and Hornby there are clusters of dozens of fast food restaurants.

"The social cost of having something like that in our neighbourhood, so close to St Anne's School and so close to Te Waka Unua School in the other direction, could be quite massive," Michael Reynolds, organiser of the Community Food Project, told Three's The Project.

Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson's office is near the proposed new McDonald's site. She says no one was consulted beforehand.

Because it's not compulsory to do so, she's blaming the Government.

"I think local people in their own communities have a right to say what happen in their own community," she said.

"Nobody was asked for their opinion... It's absolutely the responsibility of the National Government, who changed the Resource Management Act so that people were more likely to be cut-out of having a say in decisions such as this."

Even though the residents aren't happy, Ms Dyson says there's nothing that can change the store's opening.

"It's a done and dusted deal."

Now she's looking ahead, in the hopes rules could be changed to prevent this happening in other suburbs.