A fast food giant has been given the go-ahead to keep its restaurant open all night – after paramedics were refused service when their ambulance was too big for its 24-hour drive-through.

Plans to keep McDonald’s Irvine restaurant area open from 1am-5am - along with it’s already 24hr drive-through - were approved by licensing chiefs last week.

And Irvine paramedic Steven McAllister said he was delighted with the news, after his ambulance crew were left ‘disappointed, and hungry’ back in April.

At North Ayrshire Licensing Committee on Wednesday, October 24, solicitor Lesley Johnstone said McDonald’s expected to serve shift workers, “for example paramedics”, and that the move would bring around five new jobs.

Police Scotland raised no objection to the application itself, but recommended a requirement for extra security.

Franchise director Andrew Gibson said: “Most of the business would be the drive-through but we did have the ambulance driver who tried to gain access overnight. But the ambulance was too big so they wanted to come inside.

“We wouldn’t serve someone on foot at the drive-through for health and safety reasons. That’s why we didn’t with this incident.”

Cllr Scott Gallacher said: “It’s so far from the town centre I don’t see a huge issue with drunks wandering in”, while Cllr Donald L Reid said: “If the police are recommending [security] it is difficult to ignore that.”

Inspector David Cameron said when nightclubs shut ‘there’s almost a covered walkway from the town centre to McDonald’s’ which could ‘prolong the nightlife’.

He added: “The mall is a place we get a lot of antisocial behaviour calls. I appreciate it’s all may and maybe but I’m trying to prevent rather than wait until it happens.”

After deliberation members agreed to grant the application with the condition security will be put in place for the first three months.

And a delighted Steven McAllister told the Times: “That’s superb, I will happily be a 3am customer.

“There’s nowhere open at that time of night, and sometimes you want something hot.

“Some fast food at that time in the morning is just what you’re needing.”

A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “We are delighted to confirm that a late night license has been granted for our Irvine restaurant. The extended trading hours will create up to five new full and part-time jobs, and allow us to provide a convenient choice for customers living outside of the nine-to-five routine.

"We take great pride in our place at the heart of Irvine and will work hard to ensure we remain a good neighbour to this community.”