“I take this opportunity to commend all those and their representative groups on the positive way in which they engaged with the Government and the wider local government sector to work through what was a difficult two years,” commented Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, “They’re still bearing some of that brunt now. Business is, thankfully, improving but they still require support.”
He was speaking recently at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government on the topic of street furniture licence fees for the remainder of 2022.
The Minister pointed out that, currently, there is no fee for awnings, canopies and heaters.
“We have exempted them as well from planning on a permanent basis,” he told the Select Committee, adding that, “These regulations are extended to ensure that there will be no further fee for the remainder of this year for street licences for installing tables and chairs to facilitate the consumption of food outside hotels, restaurants, public houses and other establishments such as coffee shops.”
The measure is likely to cost in the region of €500,000 and impacts local authorities such as Dublin City Council, Dublin County Council and Cork in particular.
“This supports the outdoor dining experience for our citizens as well,” said the Minister, “It supports the continued pedestrianisation of many of our streets which I very much welcome.”
The Minister’s draft regulations will be subsequently approved by a positive resolution of both Houses of the Oireachtas, as required by the Planning Act and will come into force as soon as they’re signed by him.