Charlie Chawke refused planning retention for outdoor cafe at The Goat

Development in a repurposed shipping container would create a disorderly streetscape, council found

Well-known publican Charlie Chawke has failed to secure planning retention for the operation of an outdoor cafe in a repurposed shipping container at the site of The Goat in Goatstown, south Dublin.

An Bord Pleanála refused planning retention to Mr Chawke’s Charjon Investments for the outdoor coffee kiosk “Box’d Coffee”, outdoor seating along with signage and a series of ancillary elements providing outdoor entertainment for pub customers, including a large outdoor TV screen.

The appeals board decision dismissed a recommendation from its own inspector, Lorraine Dockery, to grant planning retention for Box’d Coffee.

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In her report, Ms Dockery said that having visited the site, she was of the opinion that the impacts of the repurposed shipping container for use as a cafe on the visual amenity of the area “would not be so great as to warrant a refusal of permission”.


Ms Dockery described the offering as “a pleasant space to nearby residents to gather”.

“Similar temporary structures are evident throughout the city, generally in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and generally they add to the vibrancy of such areas for a temporary period of time,” she said, recommending a two-year permission for Box’d Coffee. This temporary permission would allow for a review of the development having regard to the circumstances then pertaining.

However, in its decision, the appeals board did not accept Ms Dockery’s recommendation. It shared the view of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council that the cumulative effect of the development would create a disorderly streetscape and would have a negative impact on the amenity of the local area.

In the split decision, the appeals board did uphold the council’s decision to grant planning retention to a beer garden structure known as Après Skis along with a permitted kitchen for Fired Up Pizza.

Only one observation was made to the appeals board by a third party: Circle K Ireland told the board the development would result in significant negative visual impact and undue impacts on residential amenity due to noise.

The group also contended that while the Covid pandemic may have provided the basis for the consideration of such uses and structures at a time of national emergency, it in no way provided justification for the continued use of the site in such a manner.

When contacted on Thursday, Mr Chawke declined to comment on the decision as he has yet to study the reasons for refusal.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times