Residents irate as McDonald’s silent on outlet plans

Fast-food giant McDonald’s has been criticised for not attending a public meeting to discuss its plans for a drive-through restaurant on the grounds of one of Cork’s largest sports grounds.

Residents in the Ballyphehane area said if the company won’t engage with them at this stage, then they have no faith that the company will engage in the event that it secures planning permission for the restaurant on a portion of Musgrave Park rugby grounds.

McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland has applied to Cork City Council for planning permission for a drive- through restaurant on a one-acre site at Musgrave Park, with its exit onto the Kinsale Rd. If sanctioned, it will be the company’s fourth drive-through in Cork — alongside Douglas, Blackpool and Midleton.

The single-storey facility proposed for Musgrave Park will cost up to €3m to develop, could create up to 50 jobs during construction, and up to 70 full-time and part-time jobs once open.

But it is facing strong opposition from local residents concerned about traffic management issues, litter and anti-social behaviour.

Representatives of Munster Rugby attended a public meeting on Tuesday night, but could not address most of the residents’ concerns. A spokesman for McDonald’s defended its decision to decline an invitation to attend the meeting.

“It is company policy not to comment on a planning application once it has been submitted,” he said.

“We let the planning authorities decide on the merits of the proposal.

“Local residents can engage in that process and are more than entitled to object if they want to.”

And he said the issue of the restaurant’s opening hours will be determined by the planning process.

However, local FG councillor Emmet O’Halloran said residents are concerned about the prospect of increased traffic congestion, more litter and possible anti- social behaviour.

He also expressed concerns about its proximity to eight schools in the area.

“It’s the wrong project in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

The deadline for submissions on the planning application is Jan 3.

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