The increase in casual trading has created issues regarding the economic development of main streets in towns and villages, a county councillor has said
Designated areas for causal trading are needed in the county to reflect the growth of roadside food and coffee outlets, a county councillor has said.
Cllr Niamh Kennedy has called on Donegal County Council to investigate the potential of designating trading areas in towns and villages where there has been increased activity in trading over the last number of years.
Speaking on a motion at the most recent meeting of Donegal County Council, Cllr Kennedy said the increase in casual trading in recent years “has been very welcome".
There has, however, been some issues regarding parking, the impact on the environment and on the economic development of main streets in towns and villages.
There have also been tensions between casual traders, she said.
“There have been a lot of very welcome pop-ups which have added to our tourism and added to the choices we have had,” she said.
Different areas and towns have had different experiences, she added. The independent councillor called for a workshop on the issue.
Cllr Kennedy said she was not looking for negatives, but solutions need to be found for the problems that have arisen ahead of the next tourism season.
She said designated areas need to have refuse collection and public toilets nearby to create “a nice market atmosphere” and “strike a balance between our streets and casual trading areas".
The motion was seconded by independent councillor Nicholas Crossan who said the increase in pop-ups and causal trading is a “win-win” but the regulations need to be enforced.
“Fair play is what is needed here,” he said.
A review of the causal trading bylaws got underway in July and a report is to be presented to councillors in the coming weeks.
In a written response, the council said the ongoing review of the casual trading bylaws “will seek to maximise the potential to designate appropriately located casual trading areas as possible across the county to reflect the increased demand and maximise the potential for such trading to increase the level of activity in town and village centres and contribute to the regeneration of these areas".
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