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Five Guys Manchester Piccadilly will not be allowed to open 24/7 after these concerns from residents

Five Guys’ late licence bid was rejected over concerns about anti-social behaviour in the Piccadilly Gardens area.

A new fast food restaurant opening in Piccadilly Gardens will not be allowed to operate 24 hours a day after opposition from residents in the area.

Five Guys, which is set to open a new branch in Manchester city centre next month, applied for a late night licence to serve customers all day, every day.

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But the American burger chain reduced its requested opening hours after residents who live above the new restaurant objected to the application.

They raised concerns about anti-social behaviour increasing in this part of the city centre since other fast food chains have opened late night takeaways.

Five Guys burger chain is coming to Manchester Credit: Shuuterstock

It comes as police were called to Piccadilly Gardens on Friday evening to break up a fight involving around 100 young people, mostly schoolchildren.

What’s the background to the plans?

Five Guys scaled back its plans after meeting with residents living above the former Yorkshire Building Society branch where the restaurant will be based.

Speaking on behalf of the company at a licensing hearing on Monday, Graeme Cushion explained that it is unusual for Five Guys to apply for a 24-hour licence, but bosses wanted to ‘see how it works’ at this new branch.

He said: “To be honest, we didn’t anticipate issues with local residents simply because of the existence of Burger King and McDonald’s in such close proximity.

“However, I think the residents did have concerns because we’re actually proposing to house in the ground floor unit of the very building that they live – albeit there’s another commercial unit above us before the residential levels.

“Having been alerted about their concerns, we immediately engaged with them, as you would expect.”

Piccadilly Gardens seen from Oldham Street Credit: Google Maps

Following a meeting held via video conference with residents late last year, the firm offered to reduce the opening hours requested for the premises licence.

The company cut back its opening hours in the application, proposing to close at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and at 11pm during the rest of the week.

All of the residents who objected withdrew their objections – except for one.

The remaining objector raised concerns about the proliferation of fast food restaurants in the area and the rubbish created by this type of business.

Cushion said the company takes the issue of litter ‘very seriously’ and explained that there are two bin rooms located within the premises.

He argued that anti-social behaviour is usually associated with excessive alcohol consumption and explained that Five Guys sells very little alcohol.

He said: “Less than 1% of our sales are alcohol. We sell very little of it – three different lagers on sale, all of them cost around a fiver.

“I don’t see that we’re going to contribute in any way to anti-social behaviour.”

Manchester city council’s licensing sub-committee hearing panel granted the premises licence for the new restaurant as per the amended application.