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LOWER STANDARDS: opposition to late night McDonald’s

LOWER STANDARDS: opposition to late night McDonald’s

A late night licence for a new McDonald’s restaurant will turn Llandudno into “the likes of Rhyl where standards are lower”, an unhappy resident has claimed.

A Conwy county council licensing committee is set to consider whether the new fast food outlet on Mostyn Champneys Retail Park in Llandudno should be allowed to trade 24/7 at a meeting this week.

The burger giant’s new premises is next to the Iceland store and only around 250 metres from its existing site.

With the old building set for demolition, it was hoped the move would ease congestion around the shopping park after plans were approved in 2018.

Now McDonald’s has applied for a late night refreshment licence, operating seven days a week between 11pm and 5am – turning the restaurant into a 24-hour operation.

The new site will see the creation of 44 extra full and part time jobs and is due to open on June 9.

The proposals were put out to a consultation, which ended on April 15 this year, but the only objection came from Dr Neil McKenzie.

He listed a raft of reasons why the restaurant shouldn’t be granted the late night extension, including a comment on Llandudno’s coastal neighbours in Rhyl.

His letter, listed among the public documents for the hearing, outlined nine points he claimed counted against granting the licence. They are:

  • The hours (11pm to 5am) will constitute a nuisance from rowdy parties and disturbance of the peace e.g. caused by cars, to nearby residents
  • The proximity to the Grand Theatre night club will facilitate the flow of noisy inebriated customers from the night club to McDonald’s, late at night, rather than such people going home or elsewhere
  • The application includes Sunday opening (11pm to 5am) so damaging the opportunity to enjoy Sunday as a day of rest. It is also gives McDonald’s an unfair trading advantage over nearby stores which are open for a much briefer period
  • It will set a precedent of all-night opening which injures the reputation
    of Llandudno, and demotes it to the likes of Rhyl where standards are
    lower
  • It potentially increases the opportunity for dealing in illegal substances,
    this being a practice which commonly occurs at night (especially where
    people want to stay ‘high’ through the night)
  • It will result in more drunk/drugged drivers being on the road in the
    early hours when shift workers and lorry drivers also use the roads. This
    presents an increased risk of road accidents
  • Whereas the application refers to “hot food and drink” this may well be
    the thin end of the wedge. What sort of drink is specified? Might this
    include alcopops? What boundaries are set?
  • Although McDonald’s may argue these longer hours will provide
    more job opportunities, will the company guarantee to employ only
    Llandudno residents/young people?
  • It is not for lack of wisdom that opening hours for pubs are restricted
    by law. The same wisdom should apply to McDonald’s

The company has stated it will not be serving alcohol on the premises and officers noted they have “no record of any complaints with regard to the
operation of the present McDonald’s Restaurant”.

Despite public opposition and claims of impending “traffic chaos” planning permission for a new McDonald’s restaurant, on the site of the former Crown Bard pub in Rhyl, were granted last month.

Members of the Conwy council’s licensing committee can approve the application in full, apply specific conditions or refuse it.

The committee will meet at 2pm on Wednesday to consider the application.

 

Words: Jez Hemming, Local Democracy Reporter


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