16.30 Street Furniture

Certain uses in the public realm, including elements of street furniture, can lead to problems of visual clutter and to obstruction of public footpaths for pedestrians, in particular people with disabilities. These elements include newspaper stands, telephone kiosks, traffic and bus signs, tables and chairs, taxi and bus shelters as well as unauthorised A-frames and spinner stands erected by retailers. It is an objective of Dublin City Council to control the location and quality of these structures in the interests of creating a high-quality public domain.

All outdoor furniture provided by private operators including retailers, publicans and restaurateurs, etc., and utility companies should be to the highest quality, preferably of good contemporary design avoiding poor historic imitation and respect the overall character of the area and quality of the public realm and be so located to prevent any obstruction or clutter of all footpaths and paved areas including landings.

In this regard, street furniture requires either a licence under Section 254 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended) or planning permission (including street furniture erected on private lands).

In both instances, the applicant is required to submit details of the location, design, specification and quality of the proposed elements of street furniture. Details of maintenance and cleansing schedules, together with a certificate of structural stability, may also be required.

In considering applications for outdoor tables and chairs, the planning authority shall have regard to the following: ­

  • Size and location of the facility ­
  • Concentration of existing street furniture in the area ­
  • The visual impact of the structure, particularly in relation to the colour, nature and extent of advertising on all ancillary screens ­
  • Impact on the character of the streetscape ­
  • The effects on the amenities of adjoining premises, particularly in relation to hours of operation, noise and general disturbance ­
  • Impact on access and visibility.