AN ASSERTION by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council that it does not require planning permission to erect up to 80 billboards of up to 16sq m on roadsides is to be referred to An Bord Pleanála.
Two deals involving an estimated €15 million are being finalised. Under the terms of the first deal, with Clear Channel, elected councillors have already approved some 60 bus-shelter panels. The council was to be paid €10 million over a 10-year period for the sites, but management has recently reduced the number of sites to 47.
Under a second deal, with the JC Decaux advertising agency, the council is proposing another 30 sites. Under proposals circulated to councillors in the last week, JC Decaux said it planned to “relocate trees” where they interfere with the view of a sign.The signs are to be placed across the council’s administrative area.
It is estimated the council could net some €15 million over 10 years from the deals. The council has said it will use the Clear Channel money in its amenities budget.
Asked for clarification on this issue, a spokeswoman for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it was important to note that the planning proposals were still just proposals.But Blackrock councillor Ruairí Holohan said he was incensed by the proposed deals. Mr Holohan said he intended to oppose the deal at council level while his Green Party colleague Ciarán Cuffe said he would refer the issue to An Bord Pleanála to determine if the scheme was in fact exempt from the need for planning permission.