The Tralee restaurant and drive-thru will be doubled in size and become a flagship project, similar to the new-look McDonald’s at Dublin Airport.
However, council planners have decided the application requires a material contravention of the existing town plan.
The matter will be presented, today, by council officials, to a meeting of the nine-member Tralee Municipal District body.
With support from councillors likely to be forthcoming, Cllr Pa Daly said McDonald’s should make a voluntary financial contribution towards the upkeep of the county town.
The application for the 618sq/m building involves a demolition of the existing, low-size drive-thru restaurant and an expansion into an adjoining easterly site. It will also have a larger car park and a bicycle park, along with a paved area.
The expansion, on a site at Manor West and Rathass, is on lands zoned landmark gateway (LG). The location is near the iconic Kerry football sculpture on the Clashlehane roundabout, the Manor West retail park, County Council buildings, and University Hospital Kerry, on the main eastern entrance to Tralee.
While the site is open for consideration for restaurants, high-quality businesses and accompanying, high-quality design are the aim of the LG zoning.
In an application, lodged in May, town planning consultants, Tom Phillips and Associates, of Harcourt Street, Dublin, say the two-storey model is reserved for flagship locations such as that in Tralee.
The project has been described as a standalone amenity, the first in provincial Ireland. Images attached to the planning show the new ‘McCafe’ on a standalone high-plinth site in Cologne, demonstrating the new image-changing McDonald’s.
“Substantial efforts are being made by McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland to change their image and attract new types of customers, and improve the appearance and visual impact of their premises across the country,” the company’s planning agents says.
Over the next three years, McDonald’s Ireland envisages €10m per year in new store openings and refurbishments. The new stores will have a modern, contemporary appearance, inside and out, and will adopt “a natural theme”.
A new colour code will include white, green, and yellow, alongside wood and stone.