Starbucks closes after three year planning dispute

Starbucks closes after three year planning dispute

Starbucks on Patrick Street pictured before its closure. Credit: Damian Coleman

A STARBUCKS on Patrick Street has closed three years after opening without planning permission.

Cork City Council had taken action against the operators after An Bord Pleanála had ruled that a change-of-use planning permission would be needed for the coffee chain to continue trading following its opening in the building in 2015. A mobile phone retailer previously occupied the building.

Starbucks Irish operator, Entertainment Enterprises Group, had claimed that the products sold on the premises were in line with City Council planning guidelines and that the unit is used as a shop rather than a cafe.

The matter was brought to the planning authority in 2015 and in an attempt to satisfy the planning rules, Starbucks removed all seating and the toilets, rendering the store a takeaway.

This was not accepted by An Bord Pleanála who ordered that planning would still be required. The matter was brought through the courts and despite being issued with a closure order in June of last year, the Starbucks continued to operate out of the unit.

An Bord Pleanála told the company in August that it would still require permission for a change of use.

City Council’s deputy chief executive and head of planning, Pat Ledwidge, said planning laws had to be upheld. He added he did not want to see empty units on Patrick Street but the company wasn’t discriminated against as everyone is subject to the same planning laws.

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