Concerns over litter and late night activity are to be raised on Monday when councillors in Co Kerry consider a planning application by fast food chain McDonald's to almost double the size of its outlet in Tralee.
The application seeks to demolish the existing 317 sq/m drive-thru premises and replace it with a new 618 sq/m build - the second two-storey standalone McDonald’s in the State, alongside one on the Dublin airport campus.
However, the zoning of land at the location of the extended restaurant means its approval by councillors will require a material contravention of the town’s development plan.
In the application, town planning consultants Tom Phillips and Associates, for McDonald’s, say the two-storey model is reserved for “flagship” locations such as that in Tralee. A picture of a modern outlet in Cologne, Germany accompaniesthe application as an indication of the how the new McDonalds might look.
"Substantial efforts are being made by McDonald's Restaurants of Ireland to change their image and attract new types of customers, and improve the appearance and visual impact of their premises across the country," the agent states.
The works on the site - near the Manor West Retail Park, Kerry County Council buildings and University Hosptial Kerry on the main eastern entrance to Tralee - would involve extra car park spaces and signage along with new footpaths and bicycle parking.
The proposal sets out plans to expand eastwards onto an adjoining site at Manor West and Rathass, which is land zoned “Landmark Gateway”. This zoning aims to attract high quality businesses and accompanying high quality design but is open for consideration for restaurants.
Planners say the proposal involves a contravention of the town’s development plan and a special meeting of councilors from the Tralee Municipal District will today consider the proposal, which is expected to be approved.
However, Cllr Pa Daly (Sinn Féin) said he would insist on a financial contribution by McDonald's towards the clean-up of the town. He said that, particularly late at night, people going through the "drive-thru" scatter litter on roads in Tralee. In its application, McDonald's says it works to keep its sites free of litter.