herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Council 'needs guidelines' on street markets

Last year;'s popular Christmas Market on St Stephen's Green
Last year;'s popular Christmas Market on St Stephen's Green

DUBLIN City Council needs to draw up guidelines for pop-up markets, according to a report compiled after last year's Christmas market that attracted complaints from businesses around St Stephen's Green.

Some restaurants and cafes in the area complained that the market was taking business from them at a peak time of year.

The council's Economic Development Enterprise Strategic Policy Committee heard from a city official who set out proposals for future events.

exempt

Temporary markets are currently exempt under the planning code.

The report to the committee highlights the success of the venture, noting the increase in footfall in the area and said that complaints were "minimal".

It states, however, that "there were a number of issues raised by different people and it is important that these issues are considered".

It says the council needs to develop a set of procedures for pop-up markets.

In order to create an "equal playing pitch" with competing businesses, there should be provision for the payment of a fee which would be the equivalent of an appropriate rates bill for the period in operation, the report says.

"It would be important that fees are not overly high, making the operation non-viable," it says.

It also states that it is "essential" that organisers "engage in a comprehensive consultation process with local traders and with the various business representative groups prior to seeking DCC approval".

The council charged the organisers of last year's market a sum "in the region of €34,000", the report says.

Richard Guiney, the boss of the Dublin Town agency that organised the market, said fees for holding pop-up markets were "reasonable".

"As with regards to the market itself we've received great feedback off the majority of local businesses, and if there's a feeling that making provisions for charging a fee will make it a level playing field, then we welcome that," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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