McDonald’s proposals for new Billingshurst outlet spark controversy

Controversy is flaring over plans by fast food chain McDonald’s to open a new branch in Billingshurst.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 3:16 pm

The company is currently seeking planning permission from Horsham District Council for a 100-seater restaurant, takeaway, drive-thru, play area and car park

on land at the partially-developed Billingshurst Trade Park off Stane Street.

But many residents are voicing concerns that the new outlet will generate large amounts of extra traffic and will lead to litter being strewn over a wide area.

An illustration of the proposed new McDonald's restaurant and drive-thru near Horsham

One objector - Deepak Mahal - is calling for ‘a proper and independent’ traffic assessment to be made.

He says that other McDonald’s sites in Burgess Hill and at Shoreham have created ‘gridlock’ in those areas.

Many people have taken to the County Times’ Facebook page to share their views.

Katie Cherry said: “I think it’s an extremely bad idea. Has anyone experienced the horrendous traffic jams at Buck Barn McDonalds when it’s busy and that’s on a major road.

“Billingshurst roads aren’t equipped to cope. Plus the litter will be blowing about all over the village.”

Nova Bridle said: “Litter, litter, litter. I’ve lived a mile from a McDonald’s and people just chuck their litter out of the car/on foot.”

Paul Roberts posted: “One of the nice things in the Horsham district (including Billingshurst and Pulborough) is the relative lack of fast food.

“It means there’s more support for local businesses. I’ve lived in places where fast food (such as McDonalds) is readily available.

“The amount of associated rubbish is vile, local food choices are also impacted, anti-social activity and traffic increases, and unhealthy fast food culture is normalised.”

Sushma Windsor said: “Ban it. More junk food and more health issues for the already burdened healthcare system.”

Martin N Penfold Added: “Anyone who has had to negotiate the A272 at Buck Barn on a Saturday between 5pm and 6pm will know the traffic chaos this will cause.”

But McDonald’s also has its supporters. Claire Douglas said: “I’m loving it.”

And Colin Williams added: “Great idea.”

Owen Downing said: “Great for local jobs!”

And Kevin Hunter Shea said: “Saves driving to Crawley or Buck Barn.”

Ali Hollingworth added: “I think regardless of whether people like or dislike this chain - it’s always a good thing to have choice. After all - I’m sure there are a lot of people that have no interest or liking for Michelin star restaurants - but people don’t come in here moaning about ‘not another high class restaurant’ even if no intention of going and there are two within walking distance of each other!

“Everyone should have access to a variety of tastes and budgets.”