The decision was taken at a special meeting of Tralee Municipal District councillors today at Aras an Chontae.
McDonald’s wants to demolish its existing restaurant at Rathass, Tralee and replace it with an outlet double the size.
It would be just the second stand-alone two storey McDonald’s in the state; the other is in Dublin.
The new restaurant and drive thru would be 618 square metres, have 23 additional car parking spaces, signage, lighting and outdoor seating.
As the development is partly located in an area zoned Landmark Gateway it would materially contravene the Tralee Town Development Plan and therefore a period of public consultation and vote by councillors was needed.
Six councillors voted in favour, Cllrs Sam Locke and Pat McCarthy were absent and Sinn Fein’s Pa Daly voted against.
Cllr Pa Daly said he has concerns about the amount of litter they are forced to give under the franchise agreement to customers at the drive thru.
Cllr Daly said if you are walking or cycling along the Tralee Bypass you can see the amount of litter created by drive thru packaging.