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‘Let’s be the county in Ireland to lead this’ – street furniture fees waived by Clare County Council

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Fees for street furniture licences have been waived by Clare County Council during the current pandemic.

Following consultation with stakeholders both inside and outside the county, the decision to facilitate use of the public spaces in Clare’s towns and villages for street furniture provision was made. It will apply to businesses reopening from Monday (June 29th) with physical distancing in mind.

Applications are being accepted online by Clare County Council while Director of Economic Development with the local authority, Liam Conneally outlined that they were hopeful the move would ease some of the pressure on businesses planning to reopen. “Planning Department staff will work with licence applicants to process their street furniture licence applications/agents as quickly as possible” but stressed “the need to get the right information into the system early”.

Work with traders is ongoing, Director of Physical Development, Carmel Kirby confirmed. “I believe that outdoor seating will add some vibrancy to our towns and villages and make them more attractive to visitors and to people choosing Clare for their staycation. I am encouraging people to apply for the licence early so that the best and safest use can be made of public spaces.”

Clarity was sought on whether planning would be required by Cllr Roisin Garvey (GP) at a special meeting of the West Clare Municipal District. In response, Director of Service for Rural Development, Leonard Cleary commented that it would require “a lot of planning,” and that the Council were keen to get a “consistency of product”. He stated, “We don’t want a multiplicity of poorly designed furniture planted on streets”.

“Don’t over complicate it, try it for four weeks, let’s be bold, the colour doesn’t matter, throw it out for this summer and they can sort the colour in the winter. For now, we need people sitting on the seats,” Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) declared, “let’s be the council in the country that leads it”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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