We're Not Lovin' It: Cork rugby club lose wall row with McDonald’s

By Rob McNamara

A Cork rugby club has lost an appeal to An Bord Pleanála against McDonald's over a dividing wall between their two properties.

The planning authority rejected the appeal from Dolphin RFC against the retention of boundary wall which was submitted in September.

Fast-food chain McDonald's had submitted planning permission to build an additional fence and retain an existing wall and fence on the western side of the boundary with the club.

Munster Rugby which owns the grounds on which Dolphin operates out of at Musgrave Park - adjacent to the Munster Rugby stadium - sold the site on the Kinsale Road to McDonald's in 2014.

McDonald's built a 2.4m wall with a weldmesh fence on top of it which the amateur rugby club objected to as planning permission had been granted by Cork City Council for a larger concrete wall.

The club was told that the €200,000 cost of a higher wall was prohibitive.

In their appeal, the club said their playing pitches had previously unexposed to public viewing and the original planning was for a 3m high wall - a boundary treatment similiar to “well established rugby and GAA club”.

The club said it has been resident in Musgrave Park since the 1940s and “unexposed viewing is a requirement”.

They added a slope from the pitches to the boundary line “is both a danger and a maintenance issue” and is “useless and requires maintenance”.

“This will further adversely impact on the external appearance of Dolphin. The pitch as a result of McDonald’s requirements is now smaller and totally exposed,” the club said in their appeal.

However, planning inspector Robert Speer said the smaller wall and fence was compliant with planning regulations and would have no effect on the amenity of the pitch.

“Having regard to the nature and scale of the development proposed to be retained, the proposal to carry out additional landscaping and screening measures, and the existing pattern of development in the vicinity, it is considered that, subject to compliance with the conditions set out below, the development proposed to be retained and completed would not seriously injure the amenities of the area and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

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