Dublin City Council to Examine the Balance of Shops and Restaurants

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Dublin City Council to Examine the Balance of Shops and Restaurants

Dublin City Council has assembled a working group to examine whether the current system of balancing the amount of retail shops with restaurants and cafés should be altered.

The council has received criticism for the current policies which are "restrictive" in letting restaurants and cafés open in former retail spots. The "appropriate balance" in the current policy is now being scrutinised, according to the Irish Times.

Richard Guiney, chief executive of the Dublin City Business Improvement District, said that the council must react to a booming dining scene in the city and a retail sector that is being pushed more and more online, with estimates saying 35 per cent of the non-food retail sector could be online by 2020.

"We must embrace, manage and maximise the leisure economy," said Guiney. "If we don’t want to see our streets fade and die”. The Improvement District covers the main restaurant and retail areas of Grafton Street and Henry Street.

Recently, inconsistencies have been occurring in granting permission to new restaurants opening. The planning board have refused some applications on the basis of "upholding the primacy of retail", while allowing others to open in the same area.