Milford Haven’s new McDonald’s restaurant will soon be able to operate a drive-thru service as late as 5 am despite concerns of potential “anti-social behaviour”.

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s licensing sub-committee, meeting on January 10, considered 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 – were late night refreshments Monday-Sunday 11 pm - 5 am, with 24-hour opening hours, operating as a drive-thru only 11 pm - 5 am.

Sub-committee members heard the site franchisee currently runs 16 such restaurants across Wales, including Haverfordwest, Pembroke Dock, St Clears and Carmarthen locally.

Representing McDonald’s at the licensing application was Leo Charalambides.
Representing McDonald’s at the licensing application was Leo Charalambides. (PCC webcast)

During a consultation period ahead of the application, an objection was received from a member of the public about to move to the area.

The objector – in a written submission – 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 objector had asked for a speaker to be present at the committee meeting, warning the scheme 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.”

However, they declined to be present at the meeting, members heard.

The McDonald’s application for the site offered 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.

McDonald’s states it operates a ‘No Open Alcohol Containers’ policy to prevent persons carrying open alcohol into the in-store area, with no McDonald’s restaurant in the United Kingdom serving alcohol.

It added: “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.

Representing McDonald’s, Leo Charalambides outlined the conditions agreed by McDonald’s, members hearing the “100 covers” restaurant was expected to open in late February, with the concerns about late-night revellers met by the agreed conditions, the late-night service only being available as a drive-thru option.

The application was granted by the sub-committee, chair Cllr Tim Evans saying all concerns had been carefully considered, and that, “on balance the sub-committee considers the application as made promotes the licensing objectives”.