I see a robust refusal has been issued by Dublin City Council and one of its most informed city centre planners for the retention of the array of distinctly ghastly unauthorised signage erected by the Wax Museum on Foster Place over the past couple of years, including postering in the windows and smothering canvas banners cladding the signature entrance portal columns.
Such confidence is inspired by the fact that it took only two years for the signage to even enter the planning system, and even more so that three months have already passed since the decision with absolutely no action happening on the ground whatsoever.
DECISION: REFUSE RETENTION PERMISSION
Having regard to the protected status of the building and the Conservation Zoning objective of the area, it is considered that the proposed banners, posters, and sign over the main entrance would be injurous to the character of the protected structure and to the adjoining area, a designated Conservation Area in the Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017, by use of their number, location, size and density. Furthermore the materials for the signage are considered to be of an inferior quality and it is therefore considered would seriously injure the amenity of property in the vicinity and would set a precedent for other similar substandard proposals and as such would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
It is also worth quoting the Conservation Officer's comprehensive assessment of the scheme:
Conservation: Recommends a refusal:
“Foster Place is an elegant and architecturally significant enclave dominated by the
monumental scale and handling of the Bank of Ireland. The importance of the development
of this cul-de-sac as an extension of College Green and the consistent way in which (the
original scheme of Daly’s clubhouse) and its flanking buildings relate to and extend the
vista of College Green’ has been noted by Dr. E. McParland in The Wide Street
Commissioners; Their importance of Dublin architecture in the late eighteenth century’. The
dominance of architecturally significant buildings in a relatively small area, together with a
pleasing streetscape of cobbles and trees create a special character. The scale of
buildings is four –storeys to the west side and this is matched by a western sweep of Bank
of Ireland on the east side. Richard Johnston’s late eighteenth century vision for the Dame
Street and Foster Place facades of Daly’s Club remains in part, although these are
interrupted buy a modern six-storey building to the corner.
• For the above reasons this group and its setting on to Foster Place should be
considered exceptional and of national importance, worthy of careful consideration and
• The provision of temporary banners which adversely impact on architecturally
important elements of the frontispiece to Foster Place South is not supported by the
Conservation Officer. The issue raised by the applied banners is well illustrated by the
accompanying ‘before and after’ photographs in the report on this application. The applied
banners overwhelm the building and are considered ‘at odds’ with its architectural
coherence and significance.
• The issue of announcing this cultural/tourist venue within the city is understood but
it needs to be considered within the policies of the Current City Development Plan, the
initiatives/guidance concerning the quality of materials, well-considered detailed design
and delivery of the Public Realm and with reference to the ‘Way finding’ study
commissioned by DCC Planning Department
• The presentation of the National Library Kildare Street (in the accompanying
report) is considered by the Conservation Officer as guiding an appropriate solution of
high quality materials and design which doesn’t overwhelm or diminish the protected
The provision of temporary banners which adversely impact on architecturally important
elements of the frontispiece to Foster Place South is not supported by the Conservation
Officer. The applied banners overwhelm the building and are considered temporary in
nature and ‘at odds’ with the architectural coherence and significance of the protected
structure and the architecturally important setting of Foster Place.”