RESIDENTS and shoppers have expressed mixed opinions after the opening date for a new McDonald's restaurant in Basingstoke was revealed.

The fast food establishment will open in Chineham Shopping Centre on Wednesday, May 22. The restaurant was granted planning permission on August 18, before beginning construction to convert the unit in February.

McDonald's will open 24/7 after a licensing application to serve hot food and drinks between 11pm and 5am was granted on April 15, despite concerns from residents about litter and anti-social behaviour.

The Gazette spoke to shoppers, who had mixed opinions about the opening of the fast food outlet. 

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Basingstoke Gazette: Susan Sullivan

Susan Sullivan said: "It's disgusting, a bad impact on the environment. I'm sure people will use it, that's the problem. There's probably a lot of litter created from it."

Donnison Ian said: "I think we have enough eating places here, really. We could do with more shops, like hardware shops, the Poundland has just shut. Everything is shut isn’t it? It will be filling everybody up with cholesterol and health problems."

The shift manager at Vemillion, an independent, vegan, coffee shop in the area, said that she doesn't think it will affect them, adding: "I’m worried about the waste and the rubbish, especially with it being open 24 hours.

"A shame that it's another franchise and not a small independent business."

Resident Jill Harden said she is moving towards healthier food options, but added that 'kids need somewhere to go'. She continued: "It would be nice if there was a youth club to compliment it, restaurants like that are a real community thing."

Basingstoke Gazette: Jill Harden

Charlie Wadsworth said: "It's a McDonald's, I probably wouldn't use it right now, but a lot of people will use it because it's easy for them to use.

Resident Katherine Berry added: "I’m not exactly in favour, I’m expecting it to lead to litter. I don’t see why they need a 24-hour opening." 

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Miles Clark, who works nearby, said it is 'mildly positive'. He added: "I don't go a lot, but as it's near my work I will go occasionally when I've forgotten my breakfast. I think it's a good thing for the area."

Basingstoke Gazette: Miles Clark

Trixie Godesen added: "It's brilliant. I don't know about the 24-hour opening times, but it's another business and we need more businesses near here." 

Martin Cooper said he is excited, adding: "Less empty shops is always a bonus. It's no different to any of the other food outlets like Subway, Costa or Greggs, none of them are independent."

Basingstoke Gazette: Martin Cooper

"I'd love it, I think it will be useful to have another food option. I think on the whole litter won't be too bad, most people will be sensible," frequent shopper Carolyn Williams added.