Starbucks ordered to shut its Patrick Street outlet

Starbucks ordered to shut its Patrick Street outlet
The Starbucks outlet on Patrick Street. Cork City Council ordered the company to cease the unauthorised use of the location and restore the premises to its former condition.

CORK City Council is taking Starbucks to court to close their Patrick Street premises.

The multinational cafe chain opened on the street two years ago in the former O2 phone shop.

However, they never secured planning permission for the change of use of the building.

Planners in City Hall twice referred the issue to the planning appeals body, An Bord Pleanála, who agreed with the Council that planning permission was required.

Following the most recent decision, the Council began enforcement proceedings against Starbucks ordering them to cease the unauthorised use of the location and restore the premises to its former condition. The Council set a June 29 deadline but the location continues to operate as a coffee shop.

"In cases where Enforcement Notices are not complied with the matter is referred to the Council’s Law Department for prosecution through the Courts," a city council spokesperson said.

Earlier this week City Hall planners refused planning permission for a planned new coffee shop by UK chain Cafe Nero to be located across the street from the Starbucks.

Under the current City Development Plan, Patrick's Street is designated a primary retail area and the range of new stores on the ground floor is largely restricted to high-end retail and fashion.

Offices, takeaways, convenience stores, pubs, nightclubs, mobile phone shops, betting shops and restaurants are all banned from Patrick Street.

Cork City Council first referred the Starbucks issue to An Bord Pleanála in 2015 where they agreed that the use of the premises as a coffee shop meant it was not exempt from planning.

Starbucks subsequently removed the tables, seats and toilets arguing the location operated strictly as a takeaway and was, therefore, a shop rather than a cafe.

However, An Bord Pleanála ruled in March that removing the seating did not alter the situation and that planning permission was required.

Starbucks did not respond to questions about the future of their Patrick Street outlet.

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