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Real estate group apologises to Grafton Street flower sellers for 'clutter' remarks

The group said it has now withdrawn its submission.

Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

AN INTERNATIONAL REAL estate group has apologised to Grafton Street’s flower sellers after it made a submission to Dublin City Council (DCC) citing trading as “street clutter”. 

Hines Ireland, which owns a number of properties on the shopping street in the capital, said it wanted to apologise for the confusion it had caused with its submission to DCC. 

Initially, the group, which owns the buildings which house Claire’s Accessories and Fields jewellers, had written to the council and said that “street trading is inhibiting the flow of pedestrians in this core retail area as patrons of the street traders have to stop in the street to view the stalls”.

It had asked DCC to consider a “centralised and focused assembly of street traders” to “reduce street clutter”. This sparked a strong reaction from street traders, especially the iconic flower sellers who have been based on Grafton Street for generations. 

The group said it has now withdrawn its submission.

In a statement today, a spokesperson for Hines said: “Hines is fully supportive of the Dublin street traders and the very positive contribution they make to the vibrancy of the city centre and in particular to the fabric of the Grafton Street area.

“We have noted statements by Grafton Street traders and the general public in recent days in support of the retention of existing stalls located at key junctures along this much-loved street.

“We acknowledge that a recent submission in respect of the future planning considerations for the street generated concern and alarm amongst the stall owners and others.

“This was never our intention. The submission was made in good faith with a view to improving the overall quality of the public experience along Grafton Street.    

“In order to end any public confusion on this matter, we are happy to fully withdraw this proposal and will write to Dublin City Council today to that effect.

“We also apologise to the Grafton Street traders for generating unnecessary concern and would be very happy to work in collaboration with them and build positive relations into the future.”

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