The proposed extension to the Athlone IMC Cinema is on hold.
Following an appeal to the local authority by neighbouring business, Burger King, a final decision to enhance the facility will now rest with An Bord Pleanala.
Planning permission for this development project was initially submitted prior to Christmas with an extended cinema totalling 1,301 square metres in size, when completed, to comprise four additional large format and VIP screens, spacious and comfortable seating and a restaurant (totalling 250 square metres in size ).
It is the latter feature within the proposed development that is alleged to be the reason for the appeal from the OKR Group, who lease Burger King, at the entrance to the Golden Island Shopping Centre.
In a submission to Westmeath County Council, the company argued the application was vague, with no opening hours given for the cinema restaurant and that parking alterations would impact their deliveries, amounting to a detrimental effect on their level of trade.
Despite this, local planners granted the project permission last month, but it will now be for An Bord Pleanala to decide after OKR lodged its appeal.
The planning application on behalf of Cinema Properties Ltd. was lodged by Brian Dunlop Architects, based in Kilkenny, on December 20.