Those opposed to a new McDonald's at the Farnborough pub have lodged an appeal with Eric Pickles
Protesters have vowed to carry on the fight for the Tumbledown Dick pub after the decision was made to allow a McDonald's restaurant and drive-through to open on the site.
Despite the controversial plans being approved by Rushmoor Borough Council’s development control committee, an appeal has been lodged by campaign group Friends of the Tumbledown Dick to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, asking him to review the decision.
The pub in Farnborough Road, once a popular music venue, closed in February 2008 after failing a health inspection. McDonald's submitted its plans in July and an extended public consultation period followed. Work is now due to start on the site at the start of the new year.
Fran Beauchamp, who created the Friends group a year ago, has argued that Farnborough will become a ‘poor relation to surrounding Surrey towns’.
But Mike Williams, operations manager at McDonald’s, said the company would be ‘bringing life’ to the building by investing £5m and creating 65 jobs. The original pub sign on Farnborough Road will also be retained.
“I want to reassure you about McDonald’s commitment to Farnborough and how it will bring investment, jobs and economic growth to the community,” he said.
The plans were approved by seven votes to three by councillors earlier this month. The totem pole sign proposed to stand outside the McDonald’s was considered inappropriate and was withdrawn from the plans.
A McDonald’s spokesman said staff employed at the new restaurant would be given access to training and qualifications.