Not Lovin’ it! “Hideous” McDonald’s HQ makeover has Sunderland neighbours in uproar

The painted house on Brookside Terrace in Ashbrooke.
The painted house on Brookside Terrace in Ashbrooke.
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A McDONALD’S headquarters with an unusual paint job has residents of a conservation area in an uproar.

Nucleus House, in Ashbrooke, has been painted five bright shades – but labelled “hideous” by those living nearby.

Since the wacky colours appeared on the McDonald’s franchise office in Brookside Terrace, Sunderland City Council has received about a dozen 
complaints.

The authority contacted the property owner when the door was painted, to say that such extraordinary colours are not considered “sympathetic to the status of the area”.

But it seems the plea fell on deaf ears, as since then, the window frames on the upper and lower levels have also been painted brightly.

Civic centre bosses say their hands are tied because painting the exterior does not require planning permission, so nothing can be done to press owner Jasper Maudsley to return it to the traditional cream.

The paint job has not been popular in leafy Ashbrooke.

Full-time mother Jules Eachus, 45, of Valebrook, said it is spoiling the area.

“I don’t mind a bit of individuality but it’s all clashing colours and it’s right on the main road,” she told the Echo.

“Everybody keeps things quite original, so I think it’s a shame.”

Retired Mavis Cairns, of Thornhill Gardens, said she thought the building was going to be used by the visually impaired.

“I was thinking that maybe it is going to be a nursery, or that they were dealing with people who are sight impaired.

“I can understand that they have reasons for painting it, but not in this area.

“When I ask friends about it, I always get the same answer, that it is awful.”

Mother-of-four Julie Hawick, 52, of Valebrook Avenue, said it makes the area look comical.

“It looks like you’re in Toytown,” she said. “It’s hideous. I won’t complain because I don’t live right next to it, but a lot of people will.”

Cabinet secretary, Councillor Mel Speding, said the authority hopes the owners return the building to its original colour.

“When it became apparent that the property’s owner had painted the door and door-case in unsympathetic colours, we wrote to him reminding him that they were not considered to be sympathetic to the conservation status,” he said.

“We also stressed that it did not support the efforts of local residents in maintaining the character of the area.

“We cannot take any formal action to reverse the colour scheme, but we hope the owner will be sensitive to the concerns of so many of his neighbours and return to the mutually accepted heritage cream colour of surrounding 
properties.”

Mr Maudsley has been contacted for a comment, but no response has been received.