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Dublin City

Council refuses permission for 'shiny plastic' Tipperary Crystal sign to remain on Henry Street

Tipperary Crystal had applied for planning permission to retain the sign outside its shop.

ALLIED IMPORTS – THE company behind the Tipperary Crystal shop on Dublin City’s Henry Street – has been refused permission to keep its current sign up on one of the capital’s busiest shopping streets after a council planner decided it is “seriously injurious” to how the building looks.

Jewellery, giftware and homeware brand Tipperary Crystal officially opened its shop at number 27 Henry Street and the GPO Arcade in December 2021. The front entrance of the shop faces out onto Henry Street while a side entrance faces onto the GPO Arcade.

Number 27 Henry Street is a protected structure. The sign above the Henry Street entrance has gold lettering that reads “TIPPERARY” and beneath that smaller white lettering reads “GIFTS BEYOND EXPECTATIONS”.

Allied Imports erected the sign without planning permission and in June 2022, the council brought enforcement proceedings for the unauthorised erection of signage.

In April of this year the company applied for retention permission to be allowed to keep the sign in place.

A Conservation and Impact Statement prepared by Hausman Design architects on behalf of the company stated that the sign represents “a very minor modification” to the front of the building and “does not damage or obscure any of the existing stone facade”.

“In summation, we consider the proposed development will have minimum impact on the original fabric and features of the property. All of the significant features are retained along with its general appearance and historic character,” the architects concluded.

However, Dublin City Council planners did not agree with this assessment. 

A report prepared by the council’s conservation officer quoted planning guidelines for the O’Connell Street area, noting that any signs and advertisements require planning permission. 

Despite this, the planner noted that the sign on Number 27 had been changed at least three time since 2009 without planning permission. 

The officer found that the “materials used are inappropriate and detract from the special character of the protected structure”. Referencing the guidelines they stated that “present signage is of shiny plastic and therefore unacceptable”.

In conclusion, the officer said:

“The signage which is proposed for retention is of a shiny plastic with overlarge lettering which detract from the special architectural character of the protected structure and which is contrary to the O’Connell Street and Environs, Scheme of Special Planning Control 2022.

As such, it is considered that the proposed development for retention would be seriously injurious to the visual amenities of the protected structure and the O’Connell Street Architectural Conservation Area.

The council’s planner agreed with the Conservation officer’s concern, saying the sign is of “poor quality and not appropriate” and that it detracts from the building. 

Allied Imports has the option of appealing the decision to An Bord Pleanála, but a spokesperson confirmed to The Journal that it would not lodge an appeal.

The spokesperson said it would now follow the guidelines from the council and work with its design team to erect a new sign that complies with all the regulations.

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