MILFORD HAVEN’S new McDonald’s restaurant could soon operate a drive-thru service as late as 5am despite concerns it could lead to “late-night dangerous driving, traffic congestion and anti-social behaviour”.
Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s licensing sub-committee, meeting on January 10, are to consider an application by McDonald’s Restaurants Limited for the late-night opening at the new franchised Havens Head restaurant, built on the site of the former Paul Sartori furniture store.
The licensable activities applied for – supported by Milford Haven Town Council – are late night refreshments Monday-Sunday 11pm-5am, with 24-hour opening hours, operating as a drive-thru only 11pm-5am.
The applicant offers a number of conditions in support of the license being granted, including CCTV, operating a Staff Safe scheme, the shift manager training in conflict management, a no open alcohol container policy, litter patrols extended to the nearby area, and self-closing doors to limit noise.
A report for members says that, during a consultation period ahead of the application, the licensing authority received an objection from a member of the public about to move to the area.
Options for members include granting the application, either with the original or different conditions, and refusal.
In a submission to the committee after the proposal was publicised, the objector stated: “I have read with dismay of the application for a late-night licence at the Milford waterfront McDonalds under construction. We are purchasing an apartment at Victory House and due to move in the next few weeks.
“We feel that the way in which the Marina has been developed, especially with the addition of the Ty Hotel has provided a feeling of quality that will be severely compromised by a drive through establishment which will invariably have an adverse impact with regard to excessive littering, noise, antisocial behaviour and late night traffic, and we do not feel that the development will be in keeping with the waterfront development.
“The traffic flow in the immediate area and roundabout is already congested at certain times and will be exacerbated by this proposed development.
“There are a number of establishments currently offering take away as well as dining-in options and the competition from a large conglomerate such as McDonalds will affect their business. There is a positive occupancy of the units on the Marina but this unwelcome competition could led to businesses becoming unviable and closing which will detract from the area, especially in the current economic climate.”
The objector has also asked for a speaker to be present at the committee meeting, warning any granting of the application could lead to “late-night dangerous driving, traffic congestion and anti-social behaviour,” along with fears of “excessive littering, smells, risk of vermin and late-night noise.”
McDonald’s, in its application, states it operates a ‘No Open Alcohol Containers’ policy to prevent persons carrying open alcohol into the in-store area.
It adds: “This restaurant understands that in extending our opening hours we have a duty to the local community and that we continue to protect our staff and customers from danger and harm. We believe that the systems we have in place are robust, thorough and will, as far as reasonably practicable, secure the promotion of the four licensing objectives.
“It should be noted that no McDonald’s restaurant within the United Kingdom serves alcohol and further none of our drinks or food are served to customers in glass receptacles. We are eager to work in partnership with all responsible authorities to ensure the promotion of the four licensing objectives.
“We also seek to work with the local communities, whom we serve, in achieving a successful cohesion between our business operations and our neighbours.”