The Chairperson of Dublin City Council’s Enterprise and Economic Development Committee has proposed a full review of the Council’s licensing system for allowing tables and chairs to be placed outside pubs, cáfes and restaurants.
Dublin City Council took in €451,619 from Street Furniture Fees paid by cafés, coffee shops and pubs who placed seating outside their premises last year.
Businesses in Dublin must currently pay €125 per table, a €100 annual fee and additional charges in pedestrian zones.
Paul McAuliffe described the costs as an “unnecessary burden on city centre businesses that are struggling with high operating costs”.
The Fianna Fáil Councillor explained, “Obviously the council needs to regulate street furniture to ensure disability access and to prevent any one business overly encroaching on the public domain. However these charges and the bureaucratic process for approval seem daft.
“In the development plan for Dublin City, the aim is to encourage more cafés as they are seen as an important part of the bustle and culture of the city as well as acting as a draw for tourists. They’re often the meeting places for new business start-ups and they help make our streets feel safer.
“I’m calling for a full review of the approval process, the charging scheme and the parts of the city where these rules are applied,” he said.