School tries to block new McDonalds drive-thru near front gates

A school has brought a legal challenge to planning approval for a McDonald's restaurant located less than 100 metres from its front entrance. Temple Carraig secondary school, in Greystones, Co Wicklow, claims McDonald's Restaurants Ireland Ltd chose the location for its planned "drive-thru" at Blacklion Neighbourhood Centre because it is close to three schools, which expect to cater for 1,800 students. The decision by An Bord Pleanala to grant approval for the restaurant fails to take account of national policy concerning the health of children and to reduce childhood obesity, it is alleged. A healthy eating policy is in force in the school, which features the importance of food choices and applies criteria for food choice within the school, involving more fruit and vegetables, iron and calcium-rich foods and less fat, sugar and salt and other additives, the High Court heard. Mr Justice Richard Humphreys granted leave for judicial review of the September 30, 2015 decision by the board to grant permission for a development comprising the McDonald's restaurant, a health and fitness studio and a commercial unit at the Blacklion Neighbourhood Centre. The proposed development is close to three schools on the Blacklion campus - Temple Carraig, Gaelscoil na gCloch Liatha and Greystones Educate Together. The action is by the Temple Carraig's board of management, Jarlath Fitzsimons, counsel for the school, told the court.

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