A planning battle is brewing over the operation of an outdoor café in a repurposed shipping container and a range of ancillary elements at the site of Charlie Chawke’s The Goat at Goatstown in south Dublin.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chawke business put in place its outdoor coffee kiosk 'Box’d Coffee’, signage and a series of ancillary elements providing outdoor entertainment for pub customers including a large outdoor TV screen at The Goat.
However, the initiative has fallen foul of local planners with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council serving two planning Enforcement Notices on the business with the second notice listing 10 separate items to be addressed.
The notices require a series of actions including the removal of structures on site and reinstatement of grass surfaces within eight weeks.
One of the elements that the Council demanded the removal of was a trailer “which appears to be a mobile bar”.
‘Box’d Coffee’ commenced its operations in November 2020 and opens at 8am most days and along with coffees, patrons can also purchase croissants, flapjacks, protein balls, daily vegan options and ‘gourmet doggie treats’.
Now, in response to the Council's two Enforcement Notices, Charlie Chawke’s Charjon Investments Ltd has lodged plans with the Council to regularise the situation and retain Box’d Coffee and the various ancillary elements and signage for three years and is relying on Covid-19 planning legislation to secure planning permission.
In a planning submission lodged with the application, Tom Phillips and Associates has requested that any Council enforcement action be postponed until a decision on the planning application for retention permission has been made.
Mr Phillips states that the Box'd Coffee outdoor café/kiosk at The Goat was first opened for business during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Phillips has told the Council that “Box'd Coffee provides an open space meeting point for members of the public to gather and socialise in a safe and responsible manner”.
Mr Phillips states that “the success of Box'd Coffee during this period has continued to the present and there is no reason to believe that it should not continue once planning permission for retention has been secured”.
Mr Phillips points out that The Goat is a long-established public house and restaurant, first licensed in 1792 - a period of 230 years.
Mr Phillips states that the Covid-19 pandemic is still a global problem, and many members of the public are still considered at high risk of serious infection “and the provision of amenities and services that can cater according to this reality remains critical”.
The submission states that the success of Box'd Coffee has also resulted in increased employment opportunities, revenue generation and improved safety of public open space in The Goat.
Mr Phillips has told the Council that his firm’s review of the relevant statutory documents - including Covid-related legislation - and the comparable facilities in the wider area “indicate that the operation of Box'd Coffee is consistent with the proper planning and sustainable development of the local area”.
Mr Philips points out that the Council previously granted a three-year planning retention for ‘Fired Up Pizza’ at the Goat site in October 2020.
A decision is due on the application in August.