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How to Object to McDonald’s Planning Application and Save the Tumbledown

Let’s make this perfectly clear from the start: The campaign to save the Tumbledown Dick is about saving one of Farnborough’s oldest buildings, restoring it to its former glory and returning it to serve the community in an inclusive, culturally and socially beneficial manner.

McDonald’s want to destroy everything but the front wall of the building and then build a drive through fast food outlet around the back. We need to return the heart of our community, serve good beer, wholesome food, put on live music & events and make this place of true benefit to the locals and not some faraway big business overlords and their shareholders.

So, if you want to object to McDonald’s planning application and save the Tumbledown Dick as a thriving cultural focus for future generations, then read on…



Proposed Operating Hours will be 6am until midnight 7 days a week

The consultation period to submit objections ends on 6th September 2013. What impact will this have on Farnborough, traffic, litter, noise, anti-social behaviour? Here’s the headlines – if you wish to object you must use material planning objections based on National or Local Planning policy or your objection will be ignored; unfortunately writing to the council saying you don’t want it is not enough, you have to give strong planning reasons.

Thousands of local people are against this development but it could happen unless enough people contact the planning department objecting! Not only does Farnborough already have a major drive-thru McDonald’s only 1 mile from this site at Farnborough Gate, but it will mean the partial demolition of the building which dates back hundreds of years and is one of the few remaining historical buildings in the town. McDonald’s are proposing a 2 storey site (with soft play centre to encourage children and families to eat there). Due to the limitation of the site in terms of size and shape, there will only be 30 parking spaces and drive-thru lanes with 11 cars able to queue through the drive-thru at any one time. During peak periods it is inevitable that traffic will tail back onto the A325.

There is a community campaign to save the building being run by Friends of the Tumbledown Dick who have nominated and obtained an Asset of Community Value (ACV) status on the building and site. This means we can bid on the building to buy it to retain it as a community pub and music venue and restore and utilise the building for the benefit of the people of Farnborough as a cultural and social meeting place. We will only have the opportunity to bid if the planning is refused and McDonald’s withdraw from the sale.

Please urgently email the planning department at Rushmoor Borough Council using the email address: [email protected] saying you wish to submit a planning objection quoting the planning reference: 13/00512/FULPP (please feel free to go online onto Rushmoor Borough Council’s website and review all 44 documents submitted by McDonald’s for this site). http://publicaccess.rushmoor.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=MQC0M1NMDD000

Please include your name and home address when objecting.

You can object on the following grounds:


  • The Tumbledown Dick is a locally listed building and an Asset of Community Value (ACV) and is therefore a ‘Heritage Asset’ which means the planning committee must conserve the impact of development and great weight should be given to the asset’s conservation. McDonald’s propose to keep only the façade but demolish the rest of the building, this is unacceptable.
  • Where there is evidence of deliberate neglect by the owners (it has been wilfully neglected) the deteriorated state of the heritage asset should not be taken into account in any decision


Request that the Council support their decision to approve the building as an Asset of Community Value by making this a material planning consideration. The building is also “locally listed” as a building of local importance.


  • Queuing traffic causing potential tail backs onto a main arterial route between two of the busiest roundabouts in Farnborough could be dangerous, as drivers exiting the Pinehurst Roundabout may have to slow down or quickly change lanes to avoid the queuing traffic for the drive-thru. This could be dangerous and may lead to accidents.
  • Deliveries to service the site will be carried out by large articulated lorries, due to the limited space on the site, the tracking shown in the plans mean the lorry will have to block 7 parking spaces plus 1 disabled space during their deliveries (potentially blocking parked vehicles for up to an hour). To exit the site, the articulated lorry may have to carry out a very difficult manoeuvre and go over both lanes of the A325 dual carriageway. This could lead to accidents or traffic delays.
  • Parking – there are insufficient parking spaces for the site and size of the 2 storey restaurant proposed. This will lead to further traffic queues and is not in keeping with RBC’s requirements for 63 spaces minimum as only 30 spaces are proposed.


Unfortunately Rushmoor has a rising obesity problem (it is above the national average in children of Reception Age and Adults), should the council approve yet a further fast food outlet, especially one aimed at families due to the soft play centre? This is a national and local planning consideration.


The constant hum of traffic processing through the drive-thru lanes 12 hours a day 7 days a week, is going to cause more traffic noise and pollution in a zone already at the high end range of pollution. It could also lead to a great deal more litter around the area and the Empress ward, plus may increase anti-social behaviour in view of the experiences at Farnborough Gate. Quote the Rushmore core strategy and the SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) where Rushmoor states they want to provide a “clean and healthy place to live.” There are also planning regulations in the National Planning Policy Framework about Noise & Pollution.


Increase in litter is a material planning consideration as it is a side effect of the development and due to the impact of the Farnborough Gate McDonald’s many local residents are regularly reporting litter spread across a wide area of Farnborough beyond the boundaries of the McDonald’s outlet.  In addition we have evidence that the immediate site of Farnborough Gate, although within the litter patrol areas, is regularly neglected and covered in refuse.

Another McDonald’s outlet in a town centre location will likely significantly increase in litter across the town and beyond as people drive, park up elsewhere and dump their litter.


McDonald’s state this site will create 65 full time but mostly part-time jobs, but any jobs lost in the family-run take-aways opposite due to competition in the immediate vicinity should be mitigated against this. In addition, McDonald’s operate their employment contracts for most members of their ‘crew’ on zero hour contracts, which means they do not have to guarantee any set hours of employment and staff will only be paid for hours worked. Crew staff are paid minimum wage, which can lead to continued reliance on additional employment or the benefits system. Please include any other material planning objections you wish.



To find out more about our campaign to Save the Tumbledown Dick, please see the links below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheTumbledownDick

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaveTumbledown

Save the Firgrove 4

If you tolerate this, then your children will be nextBride Hall (who also own the Tumbledown site) have now applied for planning to demolish the shops and flats at Firgrove Parade, Farnborough, to be replaced by an 80 bed budget hotel (A Premier Inn – Farnborough already has one in Southwood, and there are 600 Premier Inns in the country. There is a new and rather ugly Travelodge just 50 yards from this site) with a large Beefeater Restaurant below, flats & retail units. This development will also see the loss of the last remaining green space in the town centre with 12 trees next to the parade, which despite having covenants to protect it, is being given up by Rushmoor Borough Council to enable Bride Hall to proceed with this development and will be lost.

It is VERY important that any objections submitted to this scheme are based on actual planning reasons, rather than just disagreeing with it. We have put together what we think are suitable grounds for objections.

This is extremely urgent  as the closing date for objections to the  Firgrove Parade development plan is Tuesday 19th March, 2013.

What Can I Do to Help?

Email an objection to Rushmoor Borough Council

We will only ask you to object to this application and the one for the Tumbly (when it comes up)

PLEASE EMAIL YOUR OBJECTION to [email protected]

We recommend that you copy and paste the text below.

Please include your name and address on your email.


If you want, you can also add (cc) [email protected] and request that your objection goes before their committee

The 2 deals are tied together, so blocking this is important!

Copy & paste this bit into your email

Objections to Planning ref: 13/00024/FULPP

Objection 1 – Like for like amenities

The strategic planning documents for Rushmoor (the Rushmoor core strategy) state that the regeneration of the town buildings need to be replaced with buildings of like for like amenities.

Firgrove is currently:

A1 (shops & retail outlets)
A3 (food & drink)
C3 (residential)

The proposed development is:

C1 (hotels, boardings and guest houses)
A1 (shops & retail outlets)
A3 (food & drink)
A4 (drinking establishments)

Objection 2 – Previous granted planning applications

Planning application (ref#00/00695/FUL granted 24th April 2002) contains caveats that include:
“protecting the trees in the interest of the health of the trees and the visual amenity of the area
“to protect the visual amenities of the street scene and the character and appearance of the area”
“to protect the amenities of surrounding residential properties and other occupiers”
“to ensure that materials harmonise with the surrounding buildings and environment”
“to ensure that existing trees are adequately protected in the interests of the visual amenities of the site and the locality in general.”

This precedent in 2002 placed the caveats to protect the aesthetic of the area and ensure that sufficient care was taken to protect the visual amenity of the area. This precedent has not been taken into account in the new proposals by Bride Hall which are severely lacking in visual aesthetic and amenities and are not harmonised with the surrounding buildings.

Objection 3 – parking

The proposed development lists 20 public parking spaces for a development that is significantly greater than this. The developers reasoning for lack of parking provision is that it’s OK to use other paid for parking in the vicinity of the development.

The current parking provision in the proposed planning documents allocates 14 residential car parking spaces, 13 retail spaces, 7 allocated hotel parking spaces. For a development of this size, there will be a lot of displaced parking, onto the Kingsmead surface car park (aka Sainbury’s car park) which will have a commercial impact upon Sainsbury’s and other retailer with customers being unable to park within easy access. this will impact upon the town’s development as a whole.

Objection 4 – Local Highway Network

The developer claims that:

“the development will not have a significant impact upon the local highway network”

However, since Sainburys opened up there has been significant growth in traffic that are single destination journeys and with the proposed usage of hotel and restaurant, this will increase significantly those traffic with regards to singal journey traffic and on already at capacity junctions, namely the a325 Clockhouse roundabout and the junction of Victoria Road and Kingsmead junction traffic lights.

There are also no provisions for disabled parking.

There is no mention of the current capacity used by the existing serviced apartments.
13/00024/FULPP | Demolition and redevelopment of properties at 1-5 Firgrove Parade

Objection 5

Loss of Green Space – this development will see the loss of one of the last remaining green spaces in the town centre after the removal of covenants protecting it. The purported planting contained within the plan is by no way comparable to the size and density of the current green space.