Grealish -v- An Bord Pleanala & Anor, [2005] IEHC 24 (2005)

Docket Number:2003 695JR
Party Name:Grealish, An Bord Pleanala & Anor
Judge:Laffoy J.
 
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THE HIGH COURT JUDICIAL REVIEW2003 No. 695 J.R.BETWEEN/THOMAS GREALISHAPPLICANTANDAN BORD PLEANÁLA RESPONDENTANDDUBLIN CITY COUNCILNOTICE PARTYJudgment of Miss Justice Laffoy delivered on the 2nd day of February, 2005.Factual background / planning historyThis application for leave pursuant to s. 50 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (the Act of 2000) to seek certain reliefs by way of judicial review is made against the following background and planning history:· For approximately 30 years there has been an advertising hoarding on the gable wall of the premises at 171 Drimnagh Road in the City of Dublin, a two-storey premises at the junction of Drimnagh Road and Balfe Road, which is now in commercial use. Prior to 1990 the hoarding accommodated static advertisements.· In 1990 More O'Ferrall Ireland Limited applied to the predecessor of the notice party, as planning authority, for permission to "convert existing advertisement structure to a tri-vision sign …". On 21st May, 1990 the planning authority decided to refuse permission for two reasons stated in its order, which were as follows:"1. The proposed development would create a traffic hazard due to its distracting effect on drivers, especially as it is in the line of sight of drivers approaching from the west and as such would be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area.2. The proposed development would be visually obtrusive in the streetscape of Drimnagh Road, seriously injurious to the visual amenities of this area and as such is contrary to the proper planning and development of the area.That decision was appealed to the respondent which, on 26th November, 1990, granted permission subject to two conditions. The first condition stipulated that the tri-vision sign should be capable of displaying three messages only and the frequency of change of the messages should not exceed one change in any period of 20 seconds, so that the total "cycle time" for the display of all three messages should not be less than 60 seconds, and any message, when displayed, should be held on display for a period of not less than 20 seconds. The reason ascribed for the imposition of this condition was to minimise the visual impact of the proposed sign and its potential to distract, to an unacceptable degree, the attention of drivers. The second condition stipulated that the tri-vision sign should be removed from the site not later than 31st December, 1995 and the site should revert to its then current use for static advertising purposes, unless retention permission had been obtained. The reason ascribed for the imposition of this condition was as follows:"It is considered reasonable, having regard to the nature of the proposed sign and, in particular, its changing display feature, that the planning authority or [the respondent] on appeal should assess the impact of the sign and review the principle of this form of development after a reasonable period of time."The reason ascribed by the respondent for granting the permission subject to the two conditions specified was stated as follows:"Having regard to the location of the site within a busy commercial district and its long-established use for advertising purposes, it is considered that, subject to compliance with the conditions set out in the Second Schedule hereto, the proposed development would not endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard, would not be seriously injurious to the visual amenities of the area and would not be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area."· In 1996 the applicant, who in the interim had acquired an interest in 171 Drimnagh Road, applied to the predecessor in title of the notice party, as planning authority, for "extension of existing planning permission for tri-vision rotating advertising sign on the gable wall". On 4th December, 1996 the application was refused for the reasons stated, which were as follows:"1. The proposed development would create a traffic hazard due to its distracting effect on drivers especially as it is in the line of sight of drivers approaching from the west and as such would be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area.2. The tri-vision sign represents an even more strident intrusion on the streetscape than a static sign, detracts from the visual amenities of the area and would be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area." There was an appeal against that decision to the respondent, which on 15th April, 1997 granted permission subject to two conditions. The first condition related to the frequency of the change of the advertisements, stipulating that the total "cycle time" be extended to 90 seconds coupled with a requirement that each advertisement should be displayed for not less than 30 seconds. The second condition dealt with the duration of the permission and provided that the permission was for a period of five years from the date of the order, whereupon the sign should be removed from the site, unless before the end of that period permission for its retention should have been granted...

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