RETAIL FURNITURE giant Ikea has been refused permission for a large 118ft sign off Dublin’s M50 because it would be “superfluous” and a road hazard.
The Swedish retailer sought permission to erect a “navigation tower” which would be topped by a three-sided sign with the store’s distinctive blue-and-yellow logo.
The mast, almost a third of the height of the Dublin spire, was proposed to be built beside the 30,000sq m (322,917sq ft) superstore Ikea is building at Ballymun off the M50. Ikea has also been refused permission for a second 56ft by 17ft advertising sign on the northern end of the superstore.
This is the most recent in a litany of setbacks for the furnishing giant. Last July it emerged that the store’s opening will be put back by at least seven months because of delays in completing the M50 upgrade, a condition of its planning permission from An Bord Pleanála.
Now Ikea faces a major battle with planners at Fingal County Council who have refused permission for two trademark signs at the complex at Ballymun.
In its planning application the store said the principal purpose for the proposed sign was to aid motorists to find the store from a distance, giving them a chance to prepare for an exit off the M50.
The navigation tower forms part of the store’s “trade dress” and is fundamental to the overall Ikea package being evident at all Ikea stores around the world, Ikea added.
Fingal County Council said it did not accept that such a tall sign was required to give motorists on the M50 advanced warning. A signage strategy already planned for the public road network will be sufficient to enable motorist to navigate their way to the Ikea site, the council stated.
A sign of this height so close to the motorway would be “a hazard in terms of distracting road users”, according to the council.
Granting permission would contravene the council’s policy to restrict non-essential advertising and would create an undesirable precedent for other signs off the M50, the council planners added.
The Irish Times