The promoters of a new amusement arcade for Fermoy are mounting a fresh challenge to a recent refusal to allow them open a new centre in the north Cork town.
Fun Junction has lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against the decision in November by Cork County Council to refuse it planning permission for a change of use of a former convenience store, near the town centre, into an amusement arcade.
The company — which runs a number of amusement arcades including Perks in Youghal and Midleton — wants to open a similar facility at Corrin Court at the junction of the Cork Road and Duntahane Road in Fermoy.
Cork County Council refused Fun Junction’s application for planning permission on the basis the company had not provided adequate off-road parking facilities to serve the development.
The local authority claimed the proposed use of the amusement arcade was “not intended primarily for the local population” but to attract clientele from a wider geographic area.
Council planners said on-road parking and traffic movements generated by the amusement arcade would interfere with the free flow of traffic in the area and endanger public safety.
They also said the outlet would generate pedestrian traffic which would be attempting to cross the road at a busy junction.
Fun Junction’s plans ran into opposition last year from some local residents who organised a petition against the amusement arcade due to its proximity to three secondary schools in Fermoy.
The company had previously secured planning permission from both the council and An Bord Pleanála for an amusement arcade on the opposite side of the town.
But it had abandoned the proposed development as it felt conditions imposed by the planning appeals’ authority were too restrictive as opening hours were limited from 10am to 8pm.
In its latest submission to An Bord Pleanála, Fun Junction said it welcomed the “general positive view” of the council towards the proposed development.
Colm Cashman, a consultant acting for Fun Junction, said the company was a family-run, recreational business that had been working in the industry for nine decades and which was “well respected within both the entertainment industry and within the communities they operate”.
Fun Junction said that most people would use the proposed amusement arcade in Fermoy between 7pm and 10pm when there would be a lower parking demand for other businesses in the area.
From its own survey, the company claimed there were ample parking spaces in the area immediately adjacent to its proposed premises.
The company claimed its business would generate only half the traffic from when the building was used as a convenience store.
Mr Cashman said that the same argument applied to the level of pedestrian traffic.
He stressed that the amusement arcade would be restricted to over-18s and would not result in “any congregation of schoolchildren” or anti-social behaviour.
However, Fun Junction said any restriction of its proposed opening hours from noon to 11.30pm would threaten the viability of the development.
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