concern raised over condition of unused outdoor facilities
NINE businesses in the Enniscorthy area that have outdoor dining structures in place expressed in retaining them, according to a report presented to the Municipal District.
District Manager, Claire Lawless, said a review of such structures in Enniscorthy had commence and expressions of interest was sought from businesses.
"Nine expressions of interest were received from people who already have structures,” said Ms Lawless.
"We are looking at those now and we’ll have to send them out formal applications for them to apply because some may require planning permission,” she added.
Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan highlighted the fact the outdoor dining areas were set up during Covid and asked if they are going to continue.
"Legally, I mean some of them are on the footpath and who has the responsibility if somebody hurts themselves or seriously injures themselves?” she asked.
"You know, there could be a lot of drink taken or whatever but who would be responsible?” she added.
She also said some of them “are really an eyesore in the town and they need to be dismantled fairly quickly”.
Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy also commented on the issue and she asked how many of the nine structures for which expressions of interest were received are in use.
"How many of them are not in regular use or are attached to premises that are closed?” she asked
"What is the plan for getting rid of them because there is no need for them, especially if they are not going to get planning,” she said.
"It is planning that they need, isn’t it?” she added.
Cllr Murphy also suggested that if outdoor dining structures are going to be allowed then the local authority needs to ensure they are suitable.
"They are not going to be the only dining facility now because we are post-Covid and some people can eat inside,” she said.
She referred to the situation in Gorey and said “their outdoor dining isn’t covered outdoor dining; you’re on the street, they may be taking up a car parking space or two but they are certainly not the huge big structures that you have here in Enniscorthy that are hiding the building and blocking a lot of the streetscape here”.
Cllr Murphy went on to comment: “I think we should be maybe looking at the design of them as well, or the redesign of them.”
She also said she was only aware of one in outdoor dining structure in Enniscorthy that is in regular use.
In response to the queries and comments from the councillors Ms Lawless said she would come back with a report on how many of the structures are currently in use.