I was extremely concerned that as well as the main application for a 24/7 McDonalds right next to the Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve, there are also three separate planning applications for the proposed McDonald’s at Tongham Services that relate exclusively to the illuminated signage, including a 12 metre high illuminated sign to be topped by the brand’s golden arches.

The signage alone will have a significant effect on light pollution around the development and across the local environment, including Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve and Tongham Ponds Site of Nature Conservation Interest, yet local residents have been given little or no time to comment on and/or object to these applications. In fact, one application has a closing date for comments of November 25.

The environmental impacts from litter and noise on the reserve simply cannot be mitigated, there should be no further development in this location. 

When the A331 was first constructed, Tice’s Meadow was a quarry, so a service station was appropriate. But as the restoration of the quarry moved from agriculture to a nature reserve (confirmed in 2019) and the site started to be fully managed for that in 2020, the priority for nature conservation was confirmed and must be protected. 

Every year Tice’s Meadow goes from strength to strength, this proposed development puts it at risk in a period when increasing biodiversity is a recognised national and international priority.

Links to each of McDonald's four planning applications:

Main application

23/P/01831 | Erection of a freestanding McDonald's Restaurant with drive thru facility, car parking, landscaping and associated works, including Customer Order Displays (COD) and a play frame. | Tongham Services, A31, Tongham, Guildford, GU10 1DN

Signs closed on November 25

23/P/01826 | 4 No. Freestanding Signs, 1 No. Banner Unit, 1 No. Play Land Sign, 20 No. Dot Signs comprising 3 No. Accessible Bays, 1 No. Parked Order Bay, 5 No. Litter, 1 No. No Entry, 2 No. Pedestrian Crossing, 2 No. Give Way, 1 No. Speed Limited 10 MPH, 2 No. Look Left and 3. No Look Right | Tongham Services, A31, Tongham, Guildford, GU10 1DN

Totem Sign closes on November 30

23/P/01824 | Installation of a freestanding Totem Sign. | Tongham Services, A31, Tongham, Guildford, GU10 1DN

Signs closes on November 30

23/P/01823 | Advertising Consent for the installation of 2 No. fascia signs, 3 No. booth lettering signs and 1 No. digital booth screen | Tongham Services, A31, Tongham, Guildford, GU10 1DN