McDonald’s is appealing for the public to back its plans for a new Drive-Thru restaurant at Tongham Services, backing on to Tice's Meadow nature reserve.

The fast-food chain recently posted on social media saying “we need your help!”. But rather than writing supportive comments, Facebook users immediately reiterated concerns about the proposed Drive-Thru’s impact on biodiversity and congestion issues.

It comes after almost 5,000 people signed a petition started by the Tice's Meadow Bird Group, to 'Stop McDonald's at Tice's Meadow'.

Chris Jackman, councillor for Badshot Lea & Moor Park, remarked “really?” in response to McDonald's post.

He added: “What annoys me is that area is meant to be a picnic and amenity area as part of the original planning application [for the services].”

And Donna Randall declared: "There is already one a mile and a half away, we don't need another so close to our beautiful nature reserve. KEEP WILD!!!"

Rob Cole suggested an alternative location, saying: "Put one in the new [Brightwells Yard] development in Farnham... there is already two in Aldershot, two in Farnborough!! Come over our way please 🙏"

Others, like Katharine Ransom and Seini Haynes, vehemently opposed the idea, emphasising the impact on the nature reserve.

"Don’t want it!! Don’t need it! 😡", exclaimed Ransom, while Haynes added: "There is a McDonald’s just up the road – and one in town. No one needs you disrupting the nature reserve."

The debate extended to concerns about litter and environmental impact. Alex Beames challenged critics, stating: "All the people moaning about litter need to give themselves a bit of a shock awakening! Places like this don't cause litter, idiots that are unable to use a dustbin cause litter."

And not everyone objected. Jake Howson argued: "I'm all for it. The one a mile away is constantly busy and causes traffic issues in that area so this will massively help. The 'nature reserve' was a landfill and sand pit only a few years ago."

Zed Greg also supported the proposed location, noting: "Really sensible location. Removes congestion from local Aldershot routes and utilises brown field land whilst supporting service area optimisation. Excellent."

The final decision will rest with Guildford Borough Council, which must weigh the economic benefits against the environmental concerns raised by residents. The council hopes to determine the application by February 12, but has not yet set a committee date for the debate.

McDonald’s says its proposal represents a multi-million-pound investment in the local area with the restaurant expected to employ more than 120 full- and part-time staff, which McDonald’s aim to recruit from the local area.

The A31 Tongham Services’ existing outlets currently include Starbucks, Asda, Greggs, Subway, and Leon.

The McDonald’s fast food chain trades from more than 1,450 restaurants across the UK and employs about 135,000 people. Around 90 per cent of the restaurants are operated as local businesses by franchisees. 

The restaurants were originally opened on high streets to establish the brand, and then followed by the introduction of drive-thru restaurants from 1986.

If approved, the new Tongham McDonald’s would be located just a mile-and-a-half from its existing drive-thru restaurant in Ash Road, Aldershot. View the plans here.