It's an interesting point though, that I hadn't considered before- a comparison of applications for advertising in various city locations, and the reasons for grant or refusal. Would there be any discernible patterns?
The comparison should perhaps include the companies applying for permission, see this appeal to ABP.
The appeal makes interesting reading:
(caution - stupidly big file 42MB!)
Although both of these applications were granted permission under the provisions of the Dublin City Development plan 1999-2004, they were both in contravention of Section 14.42.0 (a), which states advertising displays "...shall only be permitted within commercial zones..." As can be seen in both of these instances, specific zoning guidelines were not adhered to and yet indefinite grants of permission were issued.
Furthermore, and in both of the JCDecaux cases, there is no reference made in respect of other "...existing signage in the area..." In our view this is evidence of inconsistent standards being applied by Dublin City Council in its decision making process and we believe that as our application falls within an area where the zoning guidelines permit the type of development that we are seeking, that we should be afforded the same unconditional grant of permission as has been afforded to JCDecaux.
On a final point, we are aware that as part of a wider public realm enhancement project, JCDecaux has been granted permission to erect a number of freestanding scrolling advertising displays on properties owned by Dublin City Council. We acknowledge that these developments have been granted permission having been subject to the same planning process as our own application.
However, we would specifically refer to two separate permissions that were granted permission under this programme with the following application numbers:
6784/06 - Ballybough Road zoned Z9: To Protect provide and improve residential amenities, shown in photograph No 4
6813/06 - Richmond Road zoned Z9: To preserve, provide and improve recreational amenity and open space, shown in photograph No 5
In both of these cases, Dublin City Council have granted permission for scrolling advertising displays in areas where the zoning guidelines do not permit such use.
As we have demonstrated in the four examples above, Dublin City Council has previously granted permission for advertising structures in locations where the local area zoning guidelines specifically restrict this type of development. Yet, in our case, we are being refused permission to retain a previously acceptable structure, set in a location carrying a zoning objective that permits this type of development.
Dublin City Council has based its reason for refusal on "...excessive scale..." which we have outlined is not valid given that the scale has not changed since we were last granted permission. It also refers to "...visually obtrusive element..." a point that we would argue is made irrelevant due to the existence of the adjacent Centra store development insofar as it completely dominates the local streetscape. We have also shown that the existence of an advertising display at the subject site for in excess of fifty years has not had a '...detrimental impact on the character of the area.. " and is in reality an established element of the streetscape.