Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
1322. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will allow for the relaxation of rules by local authorities for the provision of street furniture by cafés and restaurants when they reopen. [5723/20]
The licensing of street furniture and other appliances on public roads and footpaths is governed by section 254 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the Act), and associated Regulations. Under Article 201(b) of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended, this includes the provision of tables and chairs outside a hotel, restaurant, public house, or other establishment where food is sold for consumption on the premises.
Under section 254(4) of the Act, an application for such a licence shall be made to the relevant planning authority, or the Board on appeal, who, in determining an application or appeal, are required to have regard to -
- the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,
- any relevant provisions of the development plan or local area plan,
- the number and location of existing appliances, apparatuses and structures on the public road or footpath, and
- the convenience and safety of road users including pedestrians.
In the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic, such consideration of street furniture licence applications and appeals should also take into account relevant public health, health and safety and other related protocols.
While I will keep this regulatory framework under review, its implementation at a local level will continue to be a matter primarily for individual local authorities.