An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for a new restaurant and takeaway in Ballyphehane, despite objections there is already an over-concentration of fast food outlets in the area.
The planning appeals authority upheld the decision of Cork City Council to give the green light to Gillabbey Taverns to convert an empty retail unit in a local shopping centre on Pearse Square in the southside suburb into a restaurant with a takeaway service.
However, uncertainty remains over the project as the company has been dissolved since it first applied for planning permission.
The original grant of permission was appealed by a number of local residents who complained that the area was already well served by takeaway restaurants.
They pointed out the centre already had an Asian food takeaway and traditional chipper with such restaurants accounting for 30% of all units in the centre.
In addition, they claimed there was six other fast food outlets in the surrounding area.
The objectors raised concerns about odours and fumes, litter and noise, as well as general disturbance and anti-social behaviour.
They said Pearse Square was becoming unattractive at night for the local community as youths were loitering outside fast food restaurants.
In contrast, Gillabbey Taverns claimed the proposed development would add to the vitality and viability of the centre.
Bart Kavanagh, who runs Bart’s takeaway and pizzeria in the centre questioned the legal situation of the applicants as he claimed Gillabbey Taverns was in the process of being struck off.
An inspector with An Bord Pleanála said the location of the proposed takeaway conformed with the objectives of the Cork City Development Plan 2015-2021, which restricts new takeaways to certain areas including local shopping centres.
While the inspectors accepted there was a concentration of fast food outlets in the area, she said the restaurant element of the development distinguished it from just being a takeaway.
A condition that the restaurant must close by 11pm was also deemed reasonable to reduce the threat of anti-social behaviour.
An Bord Pleanála also ruled that planning permission for the restaurant was limited to three years in order to review the effect of the restaurant on residential amenities in the area.
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