City Hall waives fees for street furniture to help Cork businesses back on their feet

City Hall waives fees for street furniture to help Cork businesses back on their feet
Paul Walsh, 3 Little Piggies Deli on Union Quay, recently received an order from An Garda Siochana to remove all outside tables and chairs, Union Quay, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

City Hall has confirmed there will be a waiver on fees for street furniture in the city, in an effort to get the city back on its feet.

Calls had been made by some traders for the waiver to be implemented and extra outdoor seating allowed to encourage adequate social distancing when they reopen, or to complement any takeaway services they currently have.

Councillor Terry Shannon reminded people that the process applies to the suburbs and not just Cork city centre also.

Chief Executive of Cork City Council Ann Doherty said: “We are working closely with traders who wish to have on street furniture. Anyone who does needs to apply for the licence.

“It’s really really important. The fee is not going to be relevant but they do need to go through the licencing process.” 

In normal circumstances, businesses who apply for street furniture licences with Cork City Council must pay a non refundable administration fee of €110 with their application form.

If the licence is granted, a business must pay €125 per table and/or per bench or other seating structure not associated with a table. A fee of €100 for the use of public space also applies per licence, and all fees have to be paid by the time the licence is issued.

Labour Councillor John Maher said: “This is welcome confirmation and news that businesses will need to know as they reopen to the public.

“The city must create the conditions for businesses to continue to employ and provide a welcoming atmosphere in the city centre. 

"It might not seem like much but supports like these go a long way to restoring faith and confidence for all sectors of our city,” he added.

Local Labour Rep Peter Horgan said the waiver could be the difference between a business reopening or having to close for good.

“There are going to be enough challenges this year without unnecessary burdens being placed.

“The same considerations of access on the street will have to be adhered to, which is only right as the city and suburbs reopens to all people,” he said.

Once the applicant fills out the relevant documentation to place tables and chairs on the street, and there is consultation with Fire Services and An Garda Síochána, City Hall officials say a licence will be issued as soon as possible.

Enforcement will be carried out with regard to the street furniture license stipulations.

“Strict enforcement will be carried out to ensure working widths of footpaths and public spaces will be maximised in order to facilitate social distancing.”

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