Controversial McDonald's licence decision expected next month

Residents living near the fast food restaurant raised fears over anti-social behaviour.

Controversial Barrhead McDonald’s licence decision expected next month iStock

A decision on Barrhead McDonald’s controversial bid to open through the night is now expected to be made next month.

Franchisee Jim McLean has asked East Renfrewshire for a late hours catering licence, but residents living near the fast food restaurant raised fears over anti-social behaviour.

At a council licensing meeting last month, committee members delayed making a ruling on the application to allow for a visit to the site.

It had been expected the item would be reconsidered at a meeting on October 3 however a council spokesman said it had been moved as the applicant/their agent was unavailable.

The issue is now set to go before councillors next month, with the licensing committee next scheduled to meet on Tuesday, November 7.

One neighbour told the previous meeting how they believed plans to keep the Bowerwalls Place premises and drive thru open from 11pm to 5am would attract “undesirables”.

Council officials had received 18 letters of objection to the application, raising concerns over “undue public nuisance and threat to public order and safety arising from night-time custom”.

However, Police Scotland did not object to the licence bid.

Kevin Hughes, a retired firefighter who spoke on behalf of the objectors, said he had attended “quite a number of incidents” at 24-hour McDonald’s.

“One of them was four cars getting set on fire and one of them was a petrol bombing in the street across the road from it,” he added.

Cllr Paul Edlin, who chaired the committee, said his comments were “irrelevant” to Barrhead but Mr Hughes argued he had “seen quite a number of traits when it comes to fire-related anti-social behaviour”.

Mr Hughes also said McDonald’s only wanted to open late to increase profits. Cllr Edlin said the company had a “right to make a profit” and it was “up to the customer whether they pay it or not”.

Mr McLean, of JE Restaurants Ltd, who runs several McDonald’s franchises, including at Braehead and Silverbrun, told the committee he was “in the business of making burgers but one of the key things I always try to do is build relationships with local residents”.

He said he would be “comfortable” with late hours drive thru and delivery only if it alleviated some of the concerns raised.

His solicitor said Mr McLean had “excellent experience” and the Barrhead premises, which opened in July, has traded “without incident”. Staff can press a button to call for help if anti-social behaviour occurs, he added.

Cllr David Macdonald quizzed Mr McLean on the number of drunk people who would use the restaurant on their way home from nights out. He said he had previously seen similar situations “get out of hand”.

Mr McLean said any anti-social behaviour “resulting from that specifically, if it happens at all, it’s minimal”.

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