Plans for a new McDonald’s in Wallington High Street have divided residents with some claiming it will spark the decline of the town centre.

The planning application for the site of the old Barclays bank has drawn dozens of objections.

The plans, validated over the Christmas period, would see the fast food chain set up shop on the corner plot previously occupied by Barclays, before it closed in June last year.

The plans would see Wallington lose the ATM on the site of the old bank.

Residents have taken to Facebook to debate whether the inclusion of this famous chain restaurant on their high street would be a good thing.

Dozens have lodged official objections to the application.

Objections to the plans have been varied, but there seems to be a common feeling among residents that they can do "better" for their high street.

One resident even went as far as saying the plans would be the "final nail in the coffin for Wallington".

On Facebook, Eliot Carrol commented: “We need investment in the high street, whether that’s through negotiating with current landlords or working with the council to look at business rate schemes or grants.

"We need ways to attract independent businesses that benefit the area, not large fast-food chains that don’t have any tangible community benefits. This is not what Wallington needs.

"It’ll have a detrimental impact on a high street that desperately needs positive change.”

Richard Mead echoed this call for community-driven assets and suggested the council would be better supporting the arts.

He said: “The old bank would be much better as a community/art centre.

"CryerArts has shown how successful these can be, despite a total withdrawal of all funding by Sutton Council. Personally, I’d love another exhibition/gallery space within the borough.”

This is not the first time McDonald’s has tried to gain a spot in Wallington.

Some residents also objected to the fast food chain’s last bid to set up shop on Wallington’s Stafford Road in 2013.

The antisocial behaviour that has occurred in nearby Sutton and Croydon branches was another reason residents gave for their objections to the plans.

Almost exactly a year ago, the Croydon town centre branch installed an anti-knife arch as part of an initiative with police to stem violence in the town centre, as it’s a popular meeting point for young people.

Wallington has had its own experiences with violent crime this year.

The non-fatal stabbing of a 27-year-old man inside Wallington’s Sainsburys on Christmas Eve came as a shock to many who live in the Sutton town.

Chrissi Matusevics said: “Going by how bad the food can be in them and the kind of people seem to be attracted by them as I’ve seen around both the Sutton and Croydon ones, which both have full time security staff is that something Wallington really wants?”

One resident even took their objections from a nutritional standpoint, arguing a healthier restaurant would make a better addition to the high street.

Sara Knowles said: “Nothing positive about McDonald’s. This constant advertising for foods that are detrimental to your health in every way, it’s a joke.

"This will go ahead no doubt. How about a nice restaurant that has the best nutrition based meals?”

At the time of writing, there have been over 80 official responses to the application, many of them being objections.

Just like the Facebook commentary, these objections have been varied.

One resident, Jacqueline Fletcher said: “It will cause Uber drivers to congregate and block roads and pavement.”

Another, Jill Nelson, added: “There would be an increase in traffic near a very busy junction.”

Despite the comprehensive list of complaints, some residents saw the positives in the new plans.

Specific focus was placed on the economic benefits it would potentially bring to the area.

On Facebook, Linzii Claire commented: “It has to be better than another charity shop or estate agents. McDonald’s provides many job opportunities and training schemes.”

The historic and attractive building at 110 – 112 Woodcote Road is an expensive property, with a listed sale price exceeding £1million.

If the plans are accepted, McDonalds intends to demolish and replace the single-story addition at the back of the building and build a bin enclosure near the rear of the property.

Some residents have noted the costs of buying and running a commercial property in their comments and have suggested that the inclusion of the fast food outlet is a pragmatic option.

They, along with a number of other commenters, also mentioned what they saw as the general ‘decline’ of the high street.

On Facebook, Craig Field said: “This property is listed for sale at over one million pounds, what small independent restaurateur or small businesses can afford this, and then pay for the conversion for use? Let’s get real people, no one else will invest in it. It will lay there rotting.”

Faye Scantlebury added: “Whether you like McDonald’s or not, you need a footfall driver to make high streets work. High streets unfortunately can no longer survive with independents only.”

The outcome on the planning permission will be decided at the planning committee meeting within the next month.