'We want to serve Big Macs until 3am in Temple Bar' - McDonald's Bord Pleanala appeal
Fast food giant McDonalds wants to be able to serve Big Macs until 3am every morning at its controversial Temple Bar outlet in Dublin.
In the face of some local opposition, the firm is seeking planning permission to extend its opening hours to 3am at its Temple Bar Square premises.
The food firm failed to secure the extension after Dublin City Council ruled that the extension would upset the balance of amenities in the immediate local area and negatively impinge on residential amenity.
However, the US-owned food firm has now appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanala where it argues that the restaurant "can play an important role in adding to the diversity of food and beverage options late at night".
The City Council refused planning permission after a number of local residents objected.
Dublin city Fine Gael councillor Kieran Binchy, in an objection, told the Council that the area of Temple Bar must be balanced between the interests of cultural organisations, residential and commercial bodies.
"In the evenings in Temple Bar, the third is already overpowering the first two to the detriment of the character and the residential amenity of the area," he said.
"Encouraging people to loiter even longer eating food in Temple Bar would further tilt the balance away from culture and residential amenity."
However, in its appeal, consultants for McDonalds argue "at night time, the primary use in 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?"
The appeal states that the extension of the opening hours "can only improve the balance of amenities at night-time by increasing the quantum and diversity of establishments that do not sell alcohol".
McDonalds points out that there are a number of take away restaurants already providing late night services in Temple Bar including Supermacs - which operates until 2.30am from Monday to Wednesday and 4.30am from Thursday to Sunday; Abrakebabra which operates until 3am and Leo Burdocks which operates until 4am from Thursday to Saturday.
The appeal states: "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."
McDonalds state that the works carried out to the exterior of the restaurant have significantly enhanced the character of the protected structure.