Mobile-phone shops 'ban' for Grafton Street
Irish Independent Sunday December 3rd 2006
CONVENIENCE stores and mobile-phone shops will be banned from locating on Dublin's most expensive street as part of a multimillion-euro plan to lure back shoppers.
Dublin City Council is preparing to block certain shops from Grafton Street in the future, as cash-rich shoppers are choosing to spend abroad.
Commercially, Grafton Street has lost none of its allure but officials believe the balance of shops is wrong and that the red-brick paving, laid in 1988, needs replacing with high-class granite and new street furniture.
The plan is to develop the side streets around Grafton Street and Henry Street and, eventually, to have shops all the way between the two.
Currently there are sixmobile-phone shops on Grafton Street. Vodafone and O2 have two each; Meteor and Carphone Warehouse make up the rest.
According to Dublin City planner Dick Gleeson, the local authority is aiming to create an architectural conservation area. "That will allow us to follow on with the introduction of an area of Special Planning Control. With that we can define the range of uses, define much more demanding standards for shop-front design, and we can control lax advertising," Mr Gleeson said.
Under the new plan, convenience shops will also be limited. Mr Gleeson also believes that financial-services outlets add nothing to the streets.
"People go into those places once or twice in a decade - mostly for mortgages," he added. "The phone shops are using the street as an advertising station because they have the footfall. If too many [shops] go in, it kills the goose that lays the golden egg.
"Irish people are now so well off and so well travelled that they tend to think of going off to Paris or Milan or New York for the shops. We want to make sure that they put Dublin No 1 on their list."
Â© Irish Independent