RESIDENTS and shoppers have expressed mixed opinions on a new fast food store coming to the Chineham Shopping Centre.

As previously reported, a new McDonald's will open in Chineham after the council granted permission to change the use of a retail unit to a restaurant and hot food takeaway.

The unit was previously occupied by Martins McColls and the Post Office and has been vacant since 2019.

Shoppers expressed mixed opinions about the new fast food store, citing noise, litter and the potential for car meets when the new store opened.

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Ade Akinwale said: "I think it creates good competitiveness in the area, as there are lots of food options available, so people will have a good variety of places to choose from.

"At the end of the day, people will have their own opinions on Mcdonald's but it offers an alternative. There are lots of healthy options here too, and the new store will boost the economy and provide local employment, which is a good thing."

Maria Christensen said: "We already have a lot of McDonald’s in the area, but I’m not against it - if it creates jobs then that’s a good thing.

"I don’t use it but the kids will love it. There will be loads of people up here, which isn’t a bad thing. Hopefully, it doesn’t affect parking or anything."

Basingstoke Gazette: Cathie and Spencer ScottCathie and Spencer Scott (Image: Mark Paine)

Carol Lewis said: "I just don’t think it’s the place for it. We have lots of lovely food places around here, so would prefer to see the space used for something other than another eating place. I’m not opposed to McDonald’s but I just don’t think it’s necessarily needed here."

One shopper, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "People just look at the negatives associated with a McDonald's. Ultimately the area will remain clean, and it will entice more shoppers and people to the area. Just think of all the food places on offer to the local business parks and tradespeople who use the shopping centre on a daily basis.

"With a big presence in the centre like Mcdonald's it could attract and encourage other businesses to come into empty plots. Also, there will be jobs for the local community. All in all, I actually think it could be a good thing."

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Alina Sherwood said: "I’m not opposed to the idea although I don't regularly use McDonald's. That said, my partner likes one, so I expect he'll be bringing our child down for a bite to eat"

Stephen Poulter and Jayne Hatton said they would like to see the empty plot used to provide more services that are lacking in the shopping centre.

Jayne said: "I'd love to see a Post Office with utilities such as an ATM. Something like that would be really handy for people who live around here, and would serve the community better I feel. 

"It just seems a shame to have another eating place here as we have so many in the centre already."

Cathie and Spencer Scott were not too keen on the idea. Cathie said: "I just don't think we need it. Make something healthy in its place like a nice salad bar or sandwich place, something a bit more independent and different from everywhere else."

Spencer added: "How many McDonald's do we have in Basingstoke now? Do we really need another one?"