Burger King claims it is being unfairly treated after it was refused permission to extend its opening hours in Killarney to 3.30am on special weekends.
The restaurant, which is in a busy nightclub area, wants to extend its 1am opening hours on bank holidays, special, and sporting weekends, including the All-Ireland Football weekend in September.
It has told An Bord Pleanála that nearby nightclubs and outlets are allowed to remain open much later than it and is now appealing the ruling.
Christmas weekend and Halloween are also included in the list of special weekends and an extension to 2am is being sought for the Monday nights attached to the specified weekends.
The burger chain first opened its doors on College St in 2000, and the Killarney restaurant is one of 26 outlets throughout the country.
According to its application to Kerry County Council, the Killarney outlet “it is the only restaurant where we have restricted opening hours”.
The application also points out that it is not seeking to change its arrangement from sit-down to take-away and a private security firm will also be employed.
However, the council received objections from Michael and Sheila Buck ley, the operators of Mike’s Takeaway on the adjacent Plunkett St which is in existence for more than 30 years.
The area is a hotspot for nightclubs and noise, anti-social behaviour, and litter, the Buckleys say.
The council refused the application because the later opening hours would result in “increased levels of vehicular traffic”, and because of noise and litter. It would also contravene the town development plan adopted by the councillors.
Council planner Fiona O’Sullivan and senior officer Declan O’Malley, recommending refusal, also said “it is also considered that the extended opening hours would give rise to the congregation of large groups of people in this area of the town centre in the early hours and would endanger public safety by reason of a traffic hazard and would be contrary to proper planning and sustainable development of the town”.
That refusal is being appealed now on the grounds, according to Burger King, that it is “surrounded by existing fast-food takeaway restaurants and nightclubs which trade to much later unrestricted hours”.
“In fact the nearby McSorley’s nightclub on College St trades until 4 am,” Ciaran Carey, project manager for the OKR (Burger King) group has told An Bord Pleanála in the appeal.
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