Planning retention refused for Grafton Street souvenir shop

Dublin City Council says it would set an undesirable precedent for similar type development

Dublin City Council has refused planning retention for a souvenir shop on Dublin’s Grafton Street because, the council said, the outlet would set an undesirable precedent for similar type development and would devalue property in the vicinity.

In refusing planning permission to Fashionflo Investments Ltd for planning retention for the Seasons of Ireland souvenir shop at 111 Grafton Street, the council also concluded that the retention of the unit would “not achieve an appropriate mix and balance of uses on this part of Grafton Street, in particular, higher order comparison retail outlets, to provide for a high-quality shopping area”.

The council upheld the recommendation of its planner who concluded that the souvenir use “would not complement the area’s status as a premier shopping street”.

The planning report also said that given the current mix of lower-order retail uses and comparison retail uses along this part of Grafton Street, “the retention of this unit as a souvenir shop would not promote an appropriate balance of higher-order retail uses on the street and prevent an over-concentration of non-fashion or fashion related uses”.


The report said that the applicants contended that the proposed souvenir shop would not result in an overconcentration of this use.

The planning report disclosed that the council last year launched planning enforcement proceedings concerning the change of use to a souvenir shop.

A planning report lodged with the application by Thornton O’Connor Town Planning argued that the proposed development represented the provision of a small, independent Irish retail brand on Dublin’s premier street, which can contribute significantly to the city by providing an offer that is not available in other cities and which identifies Dublin as a unique city.

The consultant said that the unit would be fitted out with the highest quality materials and would “be a bright welcoming unit along the northern portion of Grafton Street”.

The planning report said that Fashionflo Investments had operated a successful souvenir shop on Grafton Street since 1996 demonstrating an established presence on the street for more than 27 years.

The report confirms that the lease ended at 34 Grafton Street resulting in the move to 111 Grafton Street where Seasons of Ireland has operated since last summer.

The report points out that previously retention permission was previously granted for a change of use from retail to souvenir shop use at the adjoining property at 110 Grafton Street in a 2014 planning application indicating the acceptability of this use at this location.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times