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Disney's Grafton Street shop gets green light for security gate to prevent rough sleepers

Planning permission was granted after revised plans for the mesh security gate were lodged.

8052 Disney store copy Leah Farrell / Rollingnews Leah Farrell / Rollingnews / Rollingnews

PLANS LODGED BY the Disney Store for a security gate outside its Grafton Street shop to prevent homeless people sleeping rough there have been approved. 

The sliding open-mesh gate will be retractable, blue and would match the existing shopfront. The gates would be shut and locked after the shop closes at night, according to plans. 

The original application, submitted 31 October, said the entrance doorway to the shop had been “used by the homeless for sleeping, alongside apparent drug use being reported”. 

The company claims that this activity has led to staff members experiencing threatening behaviour and confrontation.

Screenshot 2020-04-02 at 11.13.10 Revised plans for the security gate. CBRE / DublinCityPlanning CBRE / DublinCityPlanning / DublinCityPlanning

Screenshot 2020-04-02 at 10.55.33 CBRE / DublinCityPlanning CBRE / DublinCityPlanning / DublinCityPlanning

Dublin architect Enda Fanning urged the council to refuse the planning application as the company had “given a false impression that there is constant improper use of the doorway” in an objection letter submitted 26 November last. 

“As somebody who has worked in a voluntary role with those who are homeless, including those along Grafton Street, any inconvenience can be caused occasionally at shop opening time when a homeless sleeper might have to be moved on,” Fanning wrote.

“For many thousands, such recess stories across the country are the only hope of a bed for the night. 

The issues raised by the applicant as justification for its planning application are issues which can only be resolved at government level rather than by the planning department of the city council.

“For such for a company such as Disney to use a planning application to simply move on a problematic issue rather than making an effort to engage on the issue with those working in the area of homelessness is unfair and unhelpful to the overall problem. It is of no assistance to the local community.” 

Fanning also told the council that the industrial gates were “inappropriate for Grafton Street and should not be permitted”. 

“Dublin City Council has always rightly objected to roller shutter being placed over shopfronts on streets such as Grafton Street. They shut down streets and close up shopfronts off to the public. Industrial retractable security gates to the front elevations of shopfronts have become the roller shutters on today streetscapes.

“They are aesthetically damaging to a shopfront and streetscape and the Council should refuse such planning applications. It is important that a streetscape maintains recessed spaces at street level.”

Dublin City Council granted planning permission after revised plans for the mesh security gate were lodged.

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