McDonald’s refused permission to open late in Temple Bar

Extension of hours would ‘depreciate the value of residential properties’

A Big Mac. Fast food restaurant McDonald’s was denied permission to open until 3am in Temple Bar. Photograph: Getty

A Big Mac. Fast food restaurant McDonald’s was denied permission to open until 3am in Temple Bar. Photograph: Getty

 

Fast food company McDonald’s has been refused permission to extend the opening hours at its Temple Bar outlet in Dublin to 3am every morning.

Currently, the Temple Bar McDonalds stays open until midnight. In its application, the company said a number of take away restaurants are already providing late night service in the area.

They include Supermacs – which operates until 2.30am from Monday to Wednesday and 4.30am from Thursday to Sunday; Abrakebabra operates until 3am and Leo Burdocks operates until 4am Thursday to Saturday.

The appeal stated: “In the interests of natural justice, it would appear wholly unfair not to allow the applicant to operate on a level playing field with nearby food and beverage providers.”

McDonald’s offered to An Bord Pleanála that there be no take-out element between 12am and 3am and pointed out it has 12 other outlets in Dublin, including two on O’Connell Street, that operate early morning services.

McDonald’s also offered the appeals board the option of granting a three-year permission to its application to demonstrate that the operation of the restaurant will not compromise local amenity.

The fast food firm lodged the appeal after Dublin City Council rejected its late night opening hour extension earlier this year.

When the plan was before the City Council, Dublin city Fine Gael councillor Kieran Binchy said: “Encouraging people to loiter even longer eating food in Temple Bar would further tilt the balance away from culture and residential amenity.”

However, the fast food firm argued to An Bord Pleanála that the restaurant “can play an important role in adding to the diversity of food and beverage options late at night”.

The consultants for McDonald’s pointed out “at night time, the primary use in the Temple Bar is pubs and nightclubs, many of which operate until 3am with loud music and fully licensed bars. Therefore, how will the operation of a restaurant, which does not sell alcoholic beverages and does not play music upset the balance of amenities in the area?”

In its ruling, An Bord Pleanála states the proposed extension of opening hours from midnight to 3am “would seriously injure the amenities and depreciate the value of residential properties in the vicinity by virtue of additional noise and general disturbance”.

The appeals board stated that a decision to grant permission for later opening hours would be contrary to the current development plan for the area “which seeks a balance between uses and the protection of city centre communities through, inter alia, restrictions on hours of operation”.

The appeals board stated in making its decision, it had regard to the significant duration and the late night/early morning timing of the proposed extended period and the the existing pattern of development in area which includes a high concentration of bar, restaurant and nightclub uses that give rise to injurious impacts on residential amenities by reason of noise and general disturbance.