GLOBAL fast food giant McDonald’s has been filming its latest television advert – in the unlikely location of Tarporley.
But several village shop owners are far from ‘lovin’ it’, claiming their trade has been decimated due to the disruption it has caused in High Street.
Parish council chairman Ken Parker, however, thinks some of the traders have been ‘overreacting’ and believes the filming, which was due to end yesterday, was a coup for Tarporley.
Filming began on Monday and over the last three days the huge production team has transformed the sleepy village into a New York street with yellow cabs, and a Wild West setting with cowboys and horses.
Some businesses agreed to have their shop fronts changed for the purpose of the shoot, while police assisted in managing the congested traffic.
McDonald’s says it chose Tarporley because it provided it with the ‘perfect backdrop for this particular advert’, which is due to be aired later this year.
Several traders are angry because they were only made aware of the filming work on Friday.
Rob Wade, owner of The Village Butcher, feels ‘extremely aggrieved’ Tarporley Parish Council did not inform them the filming was due to take place, despite the fact it knew in advance.
He said: “Had we been informed earlier we could have got our heads together. This is our busiest week of the year, bar Christmas.”
His wife Claire added: “We’re absolutely furious. This is the last thing we need, a lot of us are struggling to pay our rent.
“The traffic is backed up and there are long queues, it’s a big inconvenience.”
Cathie Broster, owner of Chestnut Pavilion, said her business had been ‘devastated’ by the disruption.
Julie Cummings, owner of Care-4-You, described the traffic as ‘chaos’ and as a result her staff had been late for home visits to vulnerable residents.
Cllr Ken Parker confirmed the parish council had known about the advert for ‘a few weeks’ but says it was assured the filming would not cause any major disruption.
He does not believe the traffic issues have been too much of a problem.
“You have to wait for a few minutes but it’s not that terrible,” said Cllr Parker.
“Some are overreacting. What would happen if we were a village where Midsomer Murders was being filmed? It would be happening every week.”
He added McDonald’s was going to make donations to local charities, including Tarporley War Memorial Hospital.
Laura Salmon, manager of Harrisons bakery, which has been used for filming, said: “The people who are working on it are really lovely, they’ve not been pushy.”
Owner Alan Harrison confirmed he allowed the production team use of his bakery free of charge.
Charles Hardy, owner of The Old Fire Station Chocolate Shop, who says this week is usually his biggest of the year for trade, said: “We should be proud that Tarporley has been chosen.
“It raises the profile of the area. We’re talking about a major global brand.”
McDonald’s says no objections were raised prior to filming.
A spokesman for the fast food chain said: “We can confirm that in advance of filming in Tarporley this week we consulted with Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Highways Agency, Cheshire police and Tarporley Parish Council, who all granted permission for us to film.
“Letters were sent to the local community, and the location manager for the shoot visited all the businesses on the high street in advance of filming to discuss the plans.”
A Cheshire West and Chester Council spokesman said: “The filming request was short notice for the council.
“Letters to businesses and homes concerned are normally sent out if a road is closed but it was agreed with the production company that Tarporley High Street would remain open but restricted for short periods to still allow access.
“This was controlled with stop and go boards operated by a contractor for the production company.”