Council wants charity shops banned on Grafton St

Thursday 27 June 2013 22.14
Oxfam Ireland has objected to the exclusion of its shops on Grafton Street
Oxfam Ireland has objected to the exclusion of its shops on Grafton Street

Dublin City Council officials are pressing ahead with a proposed ban on charity shops on Grafton St despite objections from fundraising groups.

Oxfam Ireland objected to the exclusion while the Irish Charity Shops Association accused the council of "snobbery".

But following a period of public consultation, Assistant City Manager Jim Keoghan has recommended that councillors endorse the ban at next Monday's meeting.

Draft planning controls are proposing to add charity shops as well as convenience stores, collect stores for internet shopping and personal care services such as teeth whitening to a list of uses that are not permissable on the street.

In a report to councillors, Mr Keoghan repeats concern that the growth of "lower end retail" is detracting from Grafton Street's status as the city's premier shopping street.

There were three objections from Oxfam Ireland and two other parties to the ban.

In a statement, the Irish Charity Shops Association (ICSA) said the move could cut off a source of donations for already hurting charities.

ICSA CEO Anne Hanniffy said: "The Dublin City Council banned list for planning permission puts charity shops on a par with businesses such as sex shops, bookmakers and amusement arcades"

"We would have to question whether their decision is based on snobbery".

In its reply to Oxfam the council stated that "higher end retailing is the anchor to the continued survival of Grafton Street as a premier shopping destination".

It points out that there is no proposal to impose a blanket ban on charity shops, which it says have become an established and important use in other retail areas.

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