A fast food chain which is launching a new restaurant in Piccadilly Gardens wants it to open 24 hours a day – and some residents are not happy about it.
Five Guys, which is set to open a new branch in Manchester city centre next month, has applied for a late licence to serve customers all day, every day.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service can reveal that the new Five Guys restaurant located at the former Yorkshire Building Society branch on the corner of Piccadilly and Oldham Street will be opening in February.
But first, the burger bar will need to convince councillors to allow the restaurant to remain open and serve food 24 hours a day, every day.
It comes after residents raised concerns about the licensing application.
Why are residents worried?
One local resident of 22 years describes a ‘gradual decline’ in the area with an increase in crime with fights involving gang warfare, muggings and stabbings.
They argued that the late night licence would only increase public nuisance.
In an email to the council, this resident said: “Piccadilly Gardens should be an area where families should feel safe to visit and, as I am sure you are aware, this is already not the case […] the addition of a venue with a 5am licence will only add to the problems Piccadilly Gardens already suffers from.”
Another city centre dweller who has lived in the area for more than 20 years said Five Guys’ plans to stay open all night, every night ‘fills me with dread’.
Piccadilly Gardens already has a high level of crime and disorder, the resident wrote, and this late night licence would only create more ‘trouble’ in the area.
A third long-term resident wrote to the council claiming Piccadilly Gardens was a ‘lovely, safe, well policed and welcoming place to live’ 20 years ago.
But over the last decade it has ‘deteriorated rapidly’ to become a ‘rundown, shabby space’ that is riddled with crime and filled with fast food restaurants.
This resident recognised the efforts of the local authority to regenerate ‘this embarrassment to our city’ through a major redevelopment programme.
However, they argued that the late night licence would add to the excessive noise, litter and social disorder which residents are already experiencing.
They said: “I love living in the city and have always accepted that there will be a degree of noise, but if this application is approved it will have a big impact on the noise level, litter and anti-social behaviour in our residential area.”
Another objector writing on behalf of a residents’ association said similar takeaways have led to a ‘large increase’ in litter and anti-social behaviour.
They raised concerns about the impact that the new Five Guys restaurant would have on residents in the area if it is allowed to stay open past 11pm.
A spokesperson for Five Guys said the new Manchester Piccadilly restaurant will be opening in February.
The spokesperson said: “Our licensing team are working closely with the local residents to ensure our operational hours are acceptable to all parties.”