IT sparked one of the biggest planning battles seen in a Hampshire town for years.

Scores of people objected after McDonald’s unveiled plans to transform derelict land in Commercial Road, Totton, by building a restaurant and drive-thru that will create at least 65 jobs.

But the controversial scheme was given the go-ahead last year, despite claims that the extra traffic would create a major road safety hazard.

Now work has finally started on the site, which is already sporting the famous “golden arches” sign.

The McDonald’s site was formerly occupied by the Red Lion pub, which was destroyed by fire shortly after it closed in 2010.

Plans to build a fast food outlet sparked a flood of objections from people worried about the risk of accidents involving vehicles emerging from the facility.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: “The restaurant is expected to open in the summer and represents a significant investment in the area.

“It will also lead to the creation of at least 65 full and parttime jobs.”