Tuesday 21 November 2023

McDonald's have applied for planning permission to build a 24 hour drive-through, with a 12m high illuminated sign and 39 space carpark, on the Tice's Meadow and Tongham Ponds Site of Nature Conservation Interest. We feel this will have a significant negative impact on local biodiversity and amenity.

If you agree, please sign the below petition, and please also object to the planning application via the Guildford Borough Council planning portal.

Petition: https://chng.it/zLSS7YWKg7

Guildford Borough Council planning portal: 23/P/01831

Summary of Our Objection

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group strongly objects to the proposed development for the following material considerations:

1. Inappropriate development in the countryside

The proposed development is not within a site allocated for development in the Guildford Borough Council Local Plan, and wholly sits within land designated as Countryside by the GBCLP Policies Map. The area is described as an “important open gap between Ash and Tongham, and the town of Aldershot to the west”; and providing “a green corridor and tranquil setting with considerable biodiversity and recreation value”.

The proposed development is clearly inappropriate development in the countryside as it neither compliments nor protects the rural character of the borough – failing to comply with the GBCLP Spatial Vision for development outside recognised urban areas within the wider countryside.


2. Negative impacts on biodiversity

The proposed development sits wholly with the Tice's Meadow and Tongham Ponds Site of Nature Conservation Interest, and will have a significant negative impact on biodiversity. No clear justification has been made that the need for development outweighs the impact on biodiversity. In fact, the developer has repeatedly failed to recognise the presence of local sensitive receptors, or taken steps to mitigate any negative impacts.

The proposed development will have a significant negative impact on numerous protected and priority species and habitats, most of which the developer has failed to recognise are present on surrounding sites.


3. Inadequate biodiversity measures

The developer's proposed biodiversity measures are inappropriate and inadequate, and fail to support local biodiversity strategies.

Some of the developer's proposed biodiversity measures are part of the mitigation measures for the Tongham Services development, which have still yet to be implemented.


4. Inadequate biodiversity value baseline

The biodiversity value baseline for the proposed development site has been artificially reduced through an extended period of neglect, clearance with machinery, and then further neglect and unfulfilled planning conditions.

The site of the proposed development no longer features habitats characteristic of the SNCI as they were cleared for development of Tongham Services.


5. Negative visual impact

The proposed development, which includes a 12m high illuminated sign, will lead to a significant negative visual impact to the surrounding countryside, including the Tice's Meadow and Tongham Ponds Site of Nature Conservation Interest, the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Area of Great Landscape Value, and neighbouring compensatory habitat sites.




6. Negative impact from contaminated land

The developers have identified that the proposed site may contain contaminants which could lead to negative effects on local sensitive receptors if disturbed during development, but their Contaminated Land Report fails to recognise the Site of Nature Conservation Interest as a local sensitive land use.

7. Odour

The developer's Odour Control Assessment fails to recognise the Site of Nature Conservation Interest, Aldershot Park, and Aldershot Crematorium as local sensitive receptors, failing to comply with the Institute of Air Quality Management's guidance.

8. Light pollution

The proposed development, which includes a 12m high illuminated sign, will generate significant adverse impacts from light pollution to a number of local sensitive receptors, including the protected and priority habitats and species present in Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve and the wider SNCI.

9. Air pollution

The proposed development will lead to a significant increase in air pollution from the associated increased in vehicle traffic. This will have a negative impact on a number of sensitive receptors, including human health, and sensitive habitats and sites designated for their nature conservation value.

10. Noise

The proposed development will generate significant adverse noise impacts to a number of sensitive receptors, including the adjacent Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve, the wider SNCI, Aldershot Crematorium, and the closest residential properties.

11. Loss of open space

The proposed development is on land designated as amenity grassland and a picnic area in the planning application for the service station (which has still to be delivered). Loss of this open space on the site will drive users of the service station into the “habitat area” to the north, and potentially into the wider SNCI – causing increased disturbance, littering and dog fouling in sensitive habitats.

12. Flooding

The site is within Flood Zone 2, but immediately bordered by Flood Zone 3 to the north and east, and within an area of high fluvial flood risk. The proposed development will add a further 3,193m2 of impermeable area to the River Blackwater floodplain.

13. Inadequate parking

The proposed development makes no provision for delivery moped parking, which may lead to delivery drivers congregating on the public highway or the entrance to Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve.

14. Litter

The proposed development is likely to generate significant amounts of litter in the wider SNCI and surrounding countryside and road network.

The service station is already generating large amounts of litter which is blighting the local area, and which the developers and tenants have failed to address, leaving it to local community groups to clear up.


Litter from the Service Station blighting the local area.


15. Traffic and highway safety

The proposed development will lead to an increase in traffic at the A331/A31 roundabout and on local roads, with up to 139 visits per hour during peak times predicted by the developer.


16. Proximity to other drive-through restaurants

There are already a number of other drive-through restaurants in the local area, so there is no need for another restaurant. There is a drive-through Starbucks on the site, a drive-through McDonald's 1.4km away, and a drive-through KFC 1.4km away.

Each of the above material considerations is outlined further in the attached document, with reference to the Guildford Borough Council Local Plan and other relevant planning policies.


  1. God you people will try anything to stop this build !!! Have some intergrity and exagerate the build and its impact !! All your picture are not correct and there is no planning for a 12m sign !!!

    1. Suggest you read this carefully: https://publicaccess.guildford.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=_GUILD_DCAPR_204956&activeTab=summary

      It pays to be fully informed before attacking people on the internet hiding behind anonymous names.