Starbucks in Howth given four weeks to vacate premises

Fingal County Council finds planning permission was not given to change the use of former bike shop

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16 September 2016 | 0

Starbucks’ embroilment in planning issues here in Ireland deepened this week when it emerged that Fingal County Council has served notice to leave on the owners of Starbucks Howth. This followed its inspectors’ discovery that the use of the premises was changed without planning permission.

The owners of the outlet on Harbour Road in Howth were served notice on 16 August and given four weeks to leave.

The Irish Times reports the council had previously issued a warning letter to the outlets’ owners about the change of use of the premises from a bicycle shop to a coffee shop/restaurant.

The registered owner is Faynon Ltd, with directors listed as brothers Ciaran Butler and Colum Butler. They also operate Entertainment Enterprises Group, with whom Starbucks signed an agreement in 2012 to licence its outlets in Ireland.

It is understood Faynon Ltd said the operation in the former bike shop was effectively retail because many of the products consumers bought would be taken away, The Irish Times reports.  However the council’s inspectors decided that due to the extent of the seating and type of services delivered, that it is akin to a restaurant.

In March, An Bord Pleanála ruled that Starbucks had opened three outlets in Cork city without the necessary planning permission. Again, the company had argued that operations were retail in nature and therefore complied with the original planning designation.

An Bord Pleanála is currently looking at a case to determine if the change of use of part of a Smyths toy shop in Airside Retail Park, Swords, to a coffee shop by Starbucks, is permissible.

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