These images of demolition work in North Town, Aldershot, to make way for a new fast-food restaurant, show the changing face of the neighbourhood.
Work began on Monday (February 6) to level the former West London Training building on the corner of Ash Road and North Lane and build a drive-through McDonald’s restaurant which is expected to be open by the summer.
North Town is changing fast, thanks to a 10-year regeneration scheme which is replacing hundreds of ageing properties with new homes which will attract new residents from across the borough.
McDonald’s is keen to get a piece of the action, following hot on the heels of rival KFC, which only months ago opened a restaurant just yards away in Ash Road.
McDonald’s has spoken of the "significant investment" its new outlet will bring to North Town, including the creation of 65 jobs.
However, its planning application to Rushmoor Borough Council last year was strongly opposed by local residents, who remain concerned about the impact the development will have on the appearance of the area.
Last week, as the building work was due to get underway, Get Hampshire reported that residents had issued a strong reminder to McDonald’s that they would "monitoring closely" as the restaurant takes shape.
They threatened to take the chain to task with the council over any breaches of the terms of its planning permission.
After five days of carefully planned demolition work, a significant section of the WLT building has now been razed.
Yet North Town borough councillor Keith Dibble, who helped to lead local resistance to the drive-through, admitted on Friday that he had not heard any complaints about the project from nearby residents.
Cllr Dibble accepted that McDonald’s had so far remained true to its word, after it said it was "committed to operating within the restricted construction hours permitted".
However, he said residents would remain vigilant over the coming months until the project is completed.
Last week, a spokesman for McDonald’s told Get Hampshire: “We do appreciate that there have been a number of concerns raised about this new development and we will endeavour to work with the local community to address these.”
Approached on Friday for an update on the project, the spokesman said there was nothing further to add to its previous statement.
The council imposed 25 conditions on the drive-through restaurant, including opening hours of 7am-11pm and delivery hours of 8am-9pm.