Thursday 5 February 2009

No permission required for council's billboards

IN THESE tough times, the pressure is on local authorities to come up with new revenue streams. Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council must surely win the prize for most innovative plan to boost the coffers.

It plans to rake in €10m over 10 years by erecting 60 freestanding advertising billboards throughout its area, if its proposal is approved by councillors. One wonders what residents are going to make of the prospect of these tall freestanding advertising structures popping up on their doorsteps. The council won’t reveal exact locations, saying a report outlining the proposed sites will be presented at a council meeting next Monday, some of the pinpointed sites are in conservation areas, like Dalkey and Monkstown.

A spokesperson for the council says that no planning permission will be required if the plan goes ahead. “The proposal will be considered by the public representatives on behalf of local residents.” Indeed. In 2007 the council sought expressions of interest from media firms for the right to erect advertising structures and sell space on them. It is believed that Clear Channel Ireland was chosen and the projected revenue over the course of the contract was over €10m.

The council says the proceeds will be used to “consolidate and increase the expenditure in recreation and amenity of the council budget” and already €700,000 of 2009 expenditure has been incurred on the basis of this revenue stream.

Irish Times

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