THE Starbucks coffee shop on Patrick's Street could be facing closure following a ruling that it requires planning permission.
The outlet had removed its tables, chairs and customer toilets and Starbucks had argued that under planning guidelines it was a retail outlet that did not require a change of use permission.
However, this week the planning board ruled that the outlet at 11 Patrick's Street is a development and is not an exempted development.
However, this week the planning board ruled that the Starbucks outlet at 11 Patrick's Street is not an exempted development.
It now means the company will have to apply for planning permission for the store.
However, planning officials have previously indicated that a planning application for a coffee shop at this location on Patrick's Street would likely be refused.
The outlet opened in 2015 and was one of three city centre Starbucks premises to open without planning permission.
After the City Council referred the matter to An Bord Pleanála, the board ruled that all three required planning permission.
The company lodged applications and were granted permission for two of the stores, one of Princes Street and the other on Opera Lane.
However, they did not apply for permission for the Patrick's Street store and instead removed the tables, seats and toilets so the location operated strictly as a takeaway location.
In October, the City Council again referred the matter to An Bord Pleanála. Starbucks defended their position saying the outlet has no seating or toilets and that the sale of heated or cold sandwiches represents approximately 2% of the overall transactions.
They said that in line with previous Board determinations that a coffee shop in the current use could be considered a shop.
The planning inspector who examined the issue agreed. However, the board did not accept his recommendation. They instead said a coffee shop does not come within the scope of the definition of a shop.
They said the removal of all customer seating and toilet facilities was not sufficient to satisfy the previous condition.
Planning officials in Cork City Council said they happy with the decision by An Bord Pleanála and they were now reviewing the decision before considering what appropriate action to take.
Starbucks did not respond to questions about the future of the Patrick's Street outlet.