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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Council refuses planning permission to ‘unauthorised’ Dr Marten’s Grafton Street flagship shopfront

Dublin City Council has told footwear firm, Dr Martens AirWair that its new ‘unauthorised’ shopfront at its flaghsip store on Dublin’s Grafton Street would have a serious adverse impact on the architectural fabric of the area.

In refusing planning permission for the new Dr Marten’s AirWair shopfront application for its 89 Grafton Street outlet, the Council has concluded that the shop front would result in an undesirable precedent for similar type development and depreciate the value of property in the vicinity.

The Irish arm of Dr Marten’s Airwair was seeking planning permission for its main facade signage to read ‘Dr. Martens’.

The illuminated sign is 38.5cm high and 300cm wide on a sign area of 1.155m².

The new shopfront is completed by a signage board, mounted perpendicular to a facade with the Dr. Martens logo.

The firm lodged its planning application last September but the City Council planner’s report noted that the unauthorised ‘Dr. Martens’ signage is already in place and is oversized and excessive in scale for the site.

The Council stated that the unauthorised works individually and combined with the additional unauthorised works including the projecting signage “have had a significant impact on the presentation of the front elevation of this building, the surrounding environment and has an adverse impact on the visual amenity afforded along Grafton Street”.

The council recommended that planning permission be refused after concluding the projecting signage “adds unnecessary clutter along the streetscape, is visually obtrusive and sets an undesirable precedent for this type of signage within the Grafton Street Architectural Conservation Area and the Scheme of Special Planning Control for Grafton Street and its Environs”.


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The planning authority also stated that “there are serious concerns the unauthorised works undertaken to the shopfront are having a detrimental impact on the visual amenity, building fabric and also impacting on the unique character and amenity within the Grafton Street Architectural Conservation Area and the Scheme of Special Planning Control for Grafton Street and Environs”.

The report stated that it is not appropriate to support the unauthorised works undertaken to date which would also set an unwanted precedent for similar type of development.

In an initial submission on behalf of Dr Marten’s Airwair (Ireland), John Conlon for SBA Architects stated that “it is our view that these well designed and high quality signs shall enhance the appearance of the shop unit itself and make a positive contribution to the overall streetscape”.

Mr Conlon said that the drawings enclosed “describe a high quality design”

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