FAST food giant McDonalds has appealed Kildare County Council’s decision to axe plans for a two-story drive through and restaurant in Kildare town.
The plans, which garnered some local opposition, were turned down by the council due to concerns over increased traffic and its location at the entrance to a heritage town. In its appeal, McDonalds slammed the decision as “unjust and inconsistent with previous decisions by Kildare County Council.”
A decision is due from An Bord Pleanala by June 18.
The company wants to build the restaurant along with 35 car parking spaces beside the new Tesco store at the junction of the Nurney Road and the Monasterevin road. Kildare County Council said the development would result in additional vehicle turning movements and pose a “danger to public safety” at the junction. In its appeal to An Bord Pleanala on February 13,
McDonalds said the road upgrade works provided by Tesco were already in place, and further traffic counts in February found the volume of traffic was lower than the previous Tesco assessment.
The company pointed out to the board that a decision on the extension of the Kildare Village is due on March 27. “Given the size of the scheme (over 7,000 sq.m. additional floor area and 409 no. additional car parking spaces) and its location further away from the town than the subject site, we assume that the Roads Department will also be objecting to that application due to its concerns about the impact on the capacity of the road network?” it questioned.
The council also objected to McDonalds’ signage, streetscape design, and dominance of the internal road network. In response, the company said Kildare could be the first two-storey standalone McDonalds in the country and its design efforts would result in a very attractive and contemporary design that responds to the challenge presented by the prominent location.
It said revised drawings were being provided to the board to include an entrance doorway on the northern side in response to the streetscape. It pointed out there were two major developments nearby - Tesco and Kildare Village, which had “massive surface” car parks compared to just 35 spaces in its plans “yet permission has been refused for reasons relating to the visual dominance of the car parking.”
In her objection, former Kildare County Councillor Fionnuala Dukes branded the proposed location at the entrance to a heritage town was “highly inappropriate.” She said it would “completely bung-up the main entrance into Kildare”.
She also had concerns in relation to the removal of trees along the Nurney road, and the problem of littering from fast food outlets.
The Monasterevin Road Residents Association highlighted the same concerns as well as the effect it would have on the Sli na Slainte walk way, signage and the environment. It also highlighted the fact that Kildare was already well served with fast food outlets. Joseph Warren from Yellow Bog, Kilcullen said; “a development of this nature will take vital footfall away from the heart of the town and curtail the influx of those who travel into the town following on visiting the Kildare Village outlet, to avail of various services. This will be the final straw for a lot of retail outlets in the town centre and will lead to the devastation of the town of Kildare.”
Tesco said it was not opposed in principal to the development but wanted to ensure traffic flows were not undermined.