Plans to convert prominent Eyre Square store into café

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Galway Daily news Green light given to convert Eyre Square store to restaurant and café

Planning permission is being sought to convert a currently closed Dunnes Stores on Eyre Square into a new café and restaurant.

Better Value Unlimited Company has submitted plans to convert the former Dunnes Stores Paul Costello Living store at 40 Eyre Square to a café.

This development would consist of a ground floor café/restaurant with ancially takeaway, with office and storage space on the first floor.

“Given the site’s city centre location we respectfully make the case that a café/restaurant use is acceptable in principle and would actively help preserve the City Centre as the dominant commercial area of the city”.

The application states that these plans have been submitted to “assist in the future letting of this vacant unit”

“The shop’s external facade will remain unchanged and the shop’s existing signage is to be replaced.”

“Replacement signage can be agreed by way of planning condition”.

“As an end operator for this unit remains to be agreed, we would request that no condition be placed on the development restricting opening hours”.

However the application proposes a closing time of 10pm.

In order for any café/restaurant to “remain viable” when open with social distancing restrictions required for COVID-19, interested operators have said that a takeaway would be required “to complement on site dining” the application claims.

It asks the city council to permit this development to operate with a takeaway service, “even if is on a temporary basis” for three or five years.

The subject site, which fronts onto Eyre Square and Rosemary Lane, is not a Protected Structure itself, but is part of the Eyre Square Architectural Conservation Area.

Galway City Council is due to make a decision on this planning application by July 19.