Dublin councillors vote against charity shop ban

Tuesday 02 July 2013 07.45
Dublin city councillors have voted against a ban on charity shops on Grafton St
Dublin city councillors have voted against a ban on charity shops on Grafton St

Dublin city councillors have voted against a ban on charity shops on Grafton St.

Council officials had proposed to include charity shops on the list of uses that are “not permissible”.

But councillors voted 29 to 16 on a Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Labour motion to allow charity shops in the street even without planning permission.

Oxfam Ireland had objected to the proposal saying it had not recognised the evolution of charity shops into "fashion destinations" that sell brand new as well as per-worn clothing and accessories.

CEO Jim Clarken said "a ban on trading in certain areas would have a severe impact on our ability to continue our life-changing work with people affected by poverty and injustice around the world".

The planning controls already ban sex shops and amusement arcades and would stop any more fast food outlets, mobile phone shops or newsagents from opening.

Officials wanted to extend the prohibition to charity shops as well as collect stores for internet shopping and personal care services such as teeth whitening.

A report to councillors stated that the aim was to "reinvigorate Grafton St as the South City's most dynamic retail experience."

Assistant city manager Jim Keogan stated that "lower end retail" was detracting from the street.

The council is also spending €4m on upgrading the street including laying new granite paving.

Fundraising Ireland has welcomed the decision.

CEO Anne Hanniffy said: "We are glad that business sense has prevailed and that Dublin City Councillors have recognised that charity shops are legitimate businesses that should be allowed to apply for planning permission to trade on the street, just like any other retail outlet."