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Monday 24 September 2018
Starbucks outlet to finally close after planning battle
A controversial Starbucks outlet on Cork city’s main street has closed after a three-year planning battle. It follows enforcement action by Cork City Council in the wake of rulings from An Bord Pleanála that planning permission would be required for the St Patrick’s St cafe to remain in business. The cafe opened in 2015 in a former mobile phone shop. But Starbucks licensed partner and the operator of its stores in Ireland, Entertainment Enterprises Group, never secured planning permission for the change of use of the building. While it argued that what was being sold was consistent with the building’s previous use as a shop, city planners disagreed and the matter was referred to An Bord Pleanála first in 2015. The board agreed the use of the premises as a coffee shop meant it was not exempt from planning. Starbucks then removed the tables, seats and toilets, arguing the location operated strictly as a takeaway and was, therefore, a shop rather than a cafe.