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McDonald’s seeks return to Llanelli, sparking tension with HSBC

MCDONALD’S is setting its sights on a triumphant return to Llanelli town centre, having been absent for over twenty years.

The global fast-food colossus aims to occupy its former building on Vaughan Street, a site it had vacated in the late 1990s.

This, however, presents a hiccup. The building is currently tenanted by HSBC, who took over in 2002 under a sublet agreement from McDonald’s. In a move that might intensify tensions between the two corporate giants, McDonald’s has submitted a planning application to Carmarthenshire Council for a change of use at the building. This raises uncertainty about the future of HSBC’s branch if the application is approved.

In response to the news, HSBC was quick to clarify its position. Mark Fearn, HSBC UK’s local director, stated, “We are wholeheartedly committed to Llanelli. Our branch here, which enjoys an ongoing lease agreement with McDonald’s, is not going anywhere. We’re aware of the planning application and will be making our contributions in the usual manner.”

The planning agent representing McDonald’s, Planware, shed light on the company’s intentions in a letter. The document revealed the broader vision of reintroducing McDonald’s to Llanelli, which “will diversify and augment the overall retail landscape in the town centre.” More than that, it promises to bolster Llanelli’s evening economy and create a whopping 120 local jobs, segmented into 30 full-time and 90 part-time roles.

However, the banking powerhouse’s resolve remains firm. Despite HSBC’s announced closure of 12 branches across Wales last year, Llanelli’s branch wasn’t on that list.

The intricate dance between McDonald’s aspirations and HSBC’s steadfast commitment to Llanelli will soon reach a pivotal moment when Carmarthenshire council’s planning committee delves into the matter.

As the townsfolk of Llanelli await the council’s verdict, McDonald’s, which also operates a branch at the Trostre Retail Park, remains silent, having not yet commented on the unfolding situation.