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Council warning to Scariff Supermac’s

Efforts by Supermac’s in Scariff to take a bite out of the local food business have run into difficulties with the planning authority.
Clare County Council has issued a warning letter about an alleged unauthorised development to Supermac’s and the owners of portion of the building they are currently operating at Main Street.
According to documents obtained by The Clare Champion, two separate warning letters have been issued to the manager, Supermac’s, Main Street, Scariff and Aidan and Síle O’Beirne, Merriman Tavern, Main Street, Scariff.
The letters state the council considers the opening of a fast food restaurant and erection of associated signage to be “unauthorised as it doesn’t have the benefit of planning permission and doesn’t constitute exempted development”.
They warned that in the event the “unauthorised development” is continued, the planning authority may issue an enforcement notice. In this regard, council officials may at all reasonable times enter the building for the purpose of carrying out an inspection.
The owner and operator have been given four weeks from the date of the letters to make submissions or observations in writing to the planning authority. It is understood that Supermacs currently employs seven people in its Scariff premises.
When The Clare Champion called to Supermac’s to query their planning status last week, there was no one available to comment. Pat Lynch of Supermac’s declined to comment on the matter at this stage. Efforts to contact Aidan and Síle O’Beirne proved unsuccessful.
A spokeswoman for the Merriman Tavern told the Champion on Monday they were unavailable as they were away for a number of days.
Atif Shahzad, who works in the Spice of Life fast foot takeaway in Scariff, confirmed he had made a complaint to the council about the planning status of Supermacs.
Mr Shahzad stated he operated from 4.30pm until 12.30am for most nights during the week apart from Saturday when closing time was 1.30am.
He produced a copy of a letter, which he said was sent by his brother, Sajid Javid to Sergeant Joe Fallon in Scariff Garda Station on June 2 last.
Mr Javid stated he has been running the Spice of Life fast food outlet in Scariff for over five years and had decided to make Scariff his home for his family.
In the letter, Mr Javid stated “I pay my rates and my rent and I have built up a good customer base. I have at all times co-operated with you in relation to the running of my business concerning closing times granted under planning permission and the general running of the business,” he stated.
Commenting on the recent opening of Supermac’s in the town, Mr Javid questioned what opening hours operated in relation to this business.
“The building where Supermacs are operating was until recently used as an Indian restaurant and prior to that as a café. There are three fast food takeaways in Scariff and another one in the Gala store in Tuamgraney,” the letter stated.
Former Clare hurling manager, Mike McNamara, who runs McNamara’s bar and restaurant near Supermacs, said he had no objection to Supermac’s or any business trying to make a living in the town.
A spokesman for Chopsticks Chinese restaurant and fast food said there was a lot of competition in the food business in the town. Its opening hours are from 4.30 to 12 am Monday to Thursday, 4.30 pm to 12.30 pm Friday to Saturday and 1 pm until 12 am on Sunday.
Competition in the restaurant and fast food sector in Scariff and Tuamgraney is intense. There are three takeaways, Spice of Life, Chopsticks and Supermacs, and two restaurants Bel Pepper Bistro and McNamaras in the town, while there is also a fast food outlet in the Gala filling station in Tuamgraney, which doesn’t open late at night and Teach Ui Bhriain in the village.
Easrt Clare-based deputy Michael McNamara said he expected the council would enforce the planning laws in relation to Supemac’s.
Deputy McNamara said in general it wasn’t a matter for elected representatives local or national to try and influence the planning process.
Sergeant Joe Fallon told the Clare Champion there was no public order problem relating to the operation of fast food outlets in Scariff and noted the management of Supermacs and Spice of Life ensured they complied with opening hours and ran very good establishments.
Having met the management of these two businesses, Sergeant Fallon confirmed both of them were very co-operative concerning general policing.
“Opening times and the enforcement of these times are a matter for the county council and issues relating to planning permission are also a matter for the local planning authority.
Asked about the letter from Spice of Life to Scariff Gardai, Sergeant Fallon stated he hadn’t received it but stressed he wasn’t saying it wasn’t posted and is aware of its contents.

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