SALAD BAR CHAIN Freshly Chopped has been granted planning permission to change its Grafton Street outlet into a mixed use retail unit and keep the shop open.
A planning row between the company and Dublin City Council came to an end last week as city planners decided to grant planning permission, having initially raised concerns that the deli offering would compromise the retail character of the street.
“We’re delighted with the decision. We spent a lot of money fighting this – it should never have been an issue in the first place,” said Freshly Chopped co-founder Brian Lee.
“To remove healthy food from Grafton Street should never have been a fight we had to fight. We’re delighted now with the outcome,” he added.
Lee said the outlet will continue to provide food to those in the area.
The decision comes with a number of largely standard conditions. It also includes a request for more information on the proposed internal window display to the front elevation which should be ‘sympathetic’ to the shopfront and street.
Speaking to Fora in February, Lee said that the company had received advice that changing the signage and including a retail element in the application would resolve the planning issue.
In the planning application from 2018, the company outlined plans to turn three fifths of the outlet into a retail store, to redesign the shop front and to leave just over a tenth of the space to a salad bar.
In response to the modifications made by the company, the council had still had concerns that not enough of the space was reserved for retail.
The Grafton Street outlet opened in 2016 in a unit zoned for retail use, including a small deli space.
In 2018 the company was told it was in breach of planning regulations as it did not have permission to trade in the city centre.
To increase its retail offering, the company plans to sell branded merchandise from the outlet, including high-quality kitchenware, clothing, crockery, culinary books and associated accessories.