The Chairperson of Dublin City Council’s Enterprise and Economic Development Committee, Cllr Paul McAuliffe, has proposed a full review of the council licensing system for tables and chairs placed outside cáfes and restaurants.
In 2014, Dublin City Council had income of €451,619 from Street Furniture Fees. These are fees paid by cafes, coffee shops and pubs to place seating outside their premises. City businesses are currently forced to pay €125 per table, a €100 annual fee and additional charges in pedestrian zones.
Cllr McAuliffe has described the costs as 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 are often the meeting places for new business start-ups and they help make our streets feel safer.
“I am calling for a full review of the approval process, the charging scheme, and the parts of the city where these rules are applied,” said Cllr McAuliffe.