By Sean McCarthaigh
Attempts to preserve Dublin's best-known shopping streets for upscale outlets are being reinforced with a recent decision by planning authorities to reject plans for a donut shop at O & # 39; Connell St.
Bord Pleanála confirmed the recent decision by the Dublin City Council to refuse planning permission for the change of use of a building on the city's main thoroughfare, from retail to a bakery and cafeteria specializing in donuts.
He rejected an appeal by Donut C & B to locate a proposed new point of sale in an old photo shop near the Spire and junction with North Earl St.
An Bord Pleanála said the proposed change of use was for a building located in the downtown retail center and on a street designated as a Category 1 shopping street under the City of Dublin Development Plan.
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He said allowing the opening of the Donut C & B store would be contrary to the main goal of strengthening the retail character of the city's main shopping streets.
"The proposed development would result in a disproportionate number of complementary uses at this location and would undermine the retail strategy for downtown," the council said.
Donut C & B argued that the bakery, which is an important element of their business, was a retail use.
"It's a high-end boutique coffee shop and bakery like confectionery / boulangerie-type shops common on the main shopping streets of European cities," the company said.
He said the store would sell a variety of confectionery and candy "not just donuts" as well as provide a seating area for the buyers.
The company said lack of coffee in the city center and a new store would encourage people in the area.
He received support for his proposed business from Premier Business Centers and Dublin Town, which claimed that a traditional bakery would add "to the theater in the area."
An inspector of An Bord Pleanála, Suzanne Kehely, contested Donut C & B's claim that its design was "contemporary architecture of exceptional design quality that is in harmony with the conservation area."
Kehely said O & # 39; Connell St was "particularly harmed by the food-related uses associated with travel food and contributing to the trash and also visual clutter of prominent signage and lighting."
She claimed that the provision for just nine seats and an extensive counter at the outlet would amount to a place to go.
In September, An Bord Pleanála also refused retention permission to the Grafton St branch of Chopped, a chain of gourmet snack foods, for similar reasons.
The board said that approving the building's use for a chopped outlet would diminish the retail character of a Category 1 street and would result in an undesirable precedent for the non-retail development of Grafton St.