13.24.5 Signage and Advertising
13.24.5 Signage and Advertising
The over-riding principle is the avoidance of visual clutter and an improvement in the quality of the commercial character of the towns and villages throughout the county. It is also regulated in the interests of road safety. Advice and guidance in respect of signage on national roads concerning major tourist and leisure features is outlined in the NRA’s Policy on the Provision of Tourist & Leisure Signage on National Roads.
Advertising signs, either individually or particularly in groups, can have either a positive or negative impact on the character of a building, street or area depending on their design, size and location.
The Planning Authority will strictly control all advertising signs in relation to their location, design, materials and function and will restrict non-essential advertising structures or any advertising structure which would impact injuriously on amenity, the built environment or road safety. The following basic guidelines will be applied in assessing planning applications for signs and advertising structures:
- Individual signs should be designed for the building it will be displayed on. A bespoke sign can be a piece of art in its own right if carefully designed and made of high-quality natural materials. Signs shall be sympathetic in design and colour both to the building and its surroundings.
- Plastic/Vinyl banner-type signs will be discouraged. Projecting signs, banners and flagpoles will be restricted in size and number to prevent clutter.
- Natural high-quality materials (e.g. wood, metal etc.) will be encouraged. Man-made materials (e.g. plastic, uPVC etc.) will not be permitted in ACA’s. The use of neon, LED or similar lighting, plastic, PVC, Perspex flashing, reflectorized or glitter type signs on the exterior of buildings will be prohibited. Traditional painted signs and wrought iron hanging signs will be encouraged.
- The use of contact signage, applied directly to the glass of a shop window, is an undesirable form of signage as it creates a visual barrier between the shop floor and the street. This will be actively discouraged.
- Signs shall not obscure architectural features or details. Signs will not be permitted above eaves or parapet levels or to project above the roofline of buildings.
- Signs will not be permitted where they interfere with the safety of pedestrians, the safety and free flow of traffic or if they obscure road signs. Signs attached to buildings are preferable to those on freestanding hoardings. The Planning Authority will strictly control roadside signage in the interests of visual amenity and road safety. The Spatial Planning and National Roads Guidelines provide guidance in this regard, see Section 3.8.
- Favourable consideration may be given, in consultation with business groups, to the erection of composite advance signs on which the facilities available in the settlement will be declared. Due to the damage which a proliferation of large, competitive advance signs can cause to the appearance and image of the important entrance routes into an area, the local authorities will seek to phase out individual advance signage as the opportunity arises.
Applicants should note that signposting requires a licence from the Local Authority and the requirements of the Traffic Signs Manual (Department of Transport, Tourism and Sports, 2010) should be adhered to.
 National Roads Authority, Policy on the Provision of Tourist & Leisure Signage on National Roads, 2011