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'Excessive' 20-foot LED sign flashing new ads every 10 seconds near O'Connell Bridge set for planning appeal

Advertisements at the corner of Bachelor’s Walk and O’Connell Street have been in place since 1964.

shutterstock_482739526 The signs at 34 Bachelors Walk, Dublin. Source: Shutterstock/Remizov

A PROPOSAL TO alter a 20-foot LED sign at Bachelors Walk in Dublin City Centre to allow for new advertisements every 10 seconds has been refused planning permission but appealed to An Bord Pleanála after one MEP described it as a “deeply misleading” plan. 

Advertisements at the corner of Bachelor’s Walk and O’Connell Street have been in place since 1964 and for many years advertised Baileys. 

Its owner, Declan Coleman, recently proposed removing it and altering LED panels below it with advertisements which could be changed remotely six times per minute. 

The proposal involved removing part the Coleman sign – which currently reads ‘Have a nice day’ – and altering a billboard below it to allow for LED advertisements every 10 seconds. 

A number of objections were made before Dublin City Council refused permission in late June. 

In a submission to Dublin City Council, Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe, a former Councillor and urban planner, said advertising should not be allowed at 34 Bachelor’s Walk – a protected structure – and said the changing of ads every 10 seconds “will be distracting and visually detract from…the O’Connell Street Architectural Conservation Area.”

Cuffe also said that drawings submitted for the proposal were “deeply misleading in purporting to show the impact of the development and a sign that changes imagery every ten seconds on the building and its surroundings”. 

Transport Infrastructure Ireland, meanwhile, said “insufficient data” had been submitted by Mr Coleman to demonstrate the impact it could have on the “capacity, safety or operational efficiency” of the Luas Green Line, which runs past the corner of Bachelor’s Walk. 

It also said the development could interfere with Luas driver visibility and cause distraction crossing O’Connell Bridge. 

Refusing permission, Dublin City Council said the proposed LED sign and alterations would have a negative impact on 34 Bachelors Walk. 

It also ruled that the “excessive scale” and proposed LED illumination would be “visually obtrusive and seriously impact on the overall visual character of the immediate streetscape”. 

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Mr Coleman appealed the Council’s decision this week to An Bord Pleanála which is due to make a determination by November. 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Cuffe said it was a “very invasive” proposal and that he will write to An Bord Pleanála regarding Mr Coleman’s appeal. “I think it’s absurd to suggest placing an LED sign in an Architectural Conservation Area which is our national street.”

“I hope An Bord Pleanála refuse this appeal,” he said. 

Mr Coleman could be not be reached for comment. 

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