A town which has been proclaimed as Yorkshire’s food capital looks set to see three drive-through takeaway outlets at its major northern gateaway despite claims the development could harm the area’s reputation for gourmet meals.

Councillors unanimously approved a proposal by Malton landowner the Fitzwilliam Trust for a McDonald’s restaurant and two other outlets on land north of Edenhouse Avenue, as part of the Eden Business Park, close to the A64.

North Yorkshire Council’s Thirsk and Malton constituency planning committee heard the proposed units would be located in a “visually prominent position” on the eastern edge of the business park.

Councillors then heard unsubstantiated and unchallenged claims that once operational up to 100 full-time positions would be created at the takeaway outlets and a further 55 indirect jobs in the supply chain.

An agent for the developers also said the development would generate 95 full-time direct and indirect jobs during construction and £5m of spend in the local economy annually.

The scheme had attracted a significant level of support from residents who said it would save them having to drive to York or Scarborough for such takeaways.

Objectors to the scheme said they would rather the site was used for alternative food-related businesses and claimed the takeaways would dent the brand of a town named the 'food capital of Yorkshire' and known for gastronomic walking tours around the premises of numerous artisan producers.

The meeting heard the biggest source of concern locally was rather about the amount of litter the development would generate once operational.

Councillors were told a condition of the planning consent would be that each of the drive-thrus submitted a plan featuring bins and a radius of the site in which litter picking would regularly take place.

Councillor Steve Mason, who lives near the proposed development, told the committee while some residents had been concerned about the impact of having the drive-thrus at the gateway to “Yorkshire’s food capital”, tourism leaders in Malton had “no concerns whatsoever”.

The meeting was told the food and drink offering in the town centre would contrast with that at the development.

Coun Mason added: “This is a completely different market and we shouldn’t be stopping choice.”

“I do think this presents us with an opportunity for some much-needed employment for younger people in the area. We can capture some of the money that’s passing Ryedale with developments like this.”