Cork City to crack down on location of fast food outlets

A crackdown to control the future development of hot-food takeaways and fast-food restaurants across Cork City is on the cards.

Councillors have adopted a new planning policy in the city’s draft development plan which will govern the location of these kinds of outlets between 2015 and 2021 — the lifespan of the new city development plan.

And a new set of criteria has been drawn up against which future planning applications for fast-food outlets will be assessed. The new policy was discussed briefly at Monday’s city council meeting, during which a raft of amendments were made to the draft plan, which is now set to go on public display.

Councillors said they asked planners drafting the new city development plan to draw up the new policy in a bid to maintain “an appropriate mix of uses and to protect night-time amenities in a particular area”.

The new policy now says that it is an objective of the city council to prevent new takeaways in inappropriate locations, to prevent an excessive concentration of takeaways, and to ensure that the intensity of any proposed takeaway is in keeping with both the scale of the building and the pattern of development in the area.

The policy says a concentration of hot-food premises will not be permitted in the city centre retail area, the commercial core area and historic centre, and that the loss of prime retail space in the city centre commercial core area will be resisted.

It states that hot-food takeaways and fast-food restaurants can also have an “adverse economic impact” by affecting the commercial viability of areas by affecting status and as a result, rental levels, and the attractiveness of upper-floor occupation for other uses. As well as governing the policy toward these outlets in the city, the policy also proposes strict guidelines about where in the suburbs fast-food outlets can be located.

In a bid to protect residential amenity, the policy proposes to grant planning permission to these kinds of businesses only in areas zoned as district centres, neighbourhood centres and local centres.

Planners will also consider a range of factors when considering applications in these areas, including the potential impact on historic or protected buildings, the impact on the economic viability of the street, the effect of fumes, hours of operation and traffic and parking implications..

The council says the policy may impose restrictions on opening hours where deemed necessary. The policy is contained in the draft city development plan will will go on public display display soon for several weeks.

Once the public consultation period concludes, the draft plan will come back to councillors who may tweak it again, before signing off on it.


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