Wednesday 18 October 2017

Objector to restaurant used address of rival chain

Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

THE owners of a planned new restaurant have expressed concerns that an objection to the project was "commercially motivated" after it emerged that the objector had used an address owned by rival fast- food chain Supermac's.

The issue arose after an objector to a Hillbilly's outlet in Galway city, Mary Kelly, was found to have supplied an address where she did not live and which was owned by Supermac's Ltd.

The Hillybilly's outlet, which is planned for Eyre Square in the city, was granted permission to proceed by An Bord Pleanala last week.

The backers of the Galway Hillbilly's outlet, Barry and Eamon Keogh, made a submission to An Bord Pleanala highlighting their concerns that the objection was "anti-competitive" and "vexatious".

They told An Bord Pleanala that one of the appellants, a Mary Kelly, who had an address at Eyre Square Townhouses, did not live at the address given.

They further stated that a Registry of Deeds search found that the house in question, 17 Eyre Sq Townhouses, is owned by Supermac's Ltd.

In a bid to address this, the applicants wrote a letter to the complainant in order to arrange a meeting and discuss her concerns. It employed the services of a professional server to hand deliver a letter to Ms Kelly at the address provided.

However, when attempts were made to deliver the letter to Ms Kelly at the given address it was discovered that another tenant was in place and had been so for approximately two years.

Planning consultant James O'Donnell, who wrote to An Bord Pleanala on behalf of the Keoghs, said his clients were concerned that the third party appeal may have been "commercially motivated and/or for anti-competitive reasons".

PLANNING

A spokesperson for Supermac's did not respond to queries on the matter yesterday.

Last year Galway City Council granted planning permission for the proposed change of use from a bank to a restaurant and ancillary takeaway at 30 Eyre Square. It stipulated that it should not operate past 1am. The applicant appealed this decision to An Bord Pleanala.

The decision was also appealed by Ms Kelly to An Bord Pleanala, claiming that crowds would congregate in the area. She requested a closing time of midnight for the venture.

An Bord Pleanala has now granted permission subject to certain conditions, including a 2am closing time.

Irish Independent

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