Gay icon Panti Bliss got a dose of the “planning blues” yesterday as Dublin City Council refused planning retention for her contentious 3.5m-high illuminated sign at the landmark Panti Bar venue.
Panti Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill, now faces the prospect of having to remove the iconic “Panti Bar” sign which her consultants said should receive planning because “it is a logo of international recognition”.
However, an appeal to An Bord Pleanála is likely as a final bid to save the sign which Panti has previously described as a “beautiful landmark” claiming that the “gorgeous sign” is “a perfect example of 21st-century Irish signage and craftsmanship”.
Consultants for Panti, Pierce Tynan Architecture and Design, told Dublin City Council that the sign “is a logo of international recognition which does not advertise a pub, but a lifestyle of huge significance and importance to the city — and indeed the country”.
Pierce Tynan also stated the sign “is not merely a pub sign but a sign which reflects the artistic endeavours and extraordinary activities of the unique entertainment provided on the premises”. The consultants also argued the sign should be retained as the Panti Bar “is considered a place of cultural, social and artistic merit”.
The claims for the Panti Bar sign were made after Dublin City Council told Panti Bliss that such a sign is not acceptable except in exceptional circumstances.
In its decision to refuse planning, the city council ruled the sign “would adversely impact on the character and integrity of the area”. The city council also said the sign would “significantly detract from the visual amenities of the area and set an undesirable precedent for similar developments in the area”. The council stated this was due to the projecting nature, size, and scale in conjunction with its location above street level and its use of inappropriate materials and lighting.
The local authority stated that the proposal contravenes the Dublin City Council development plan and is contrary to the council’s shopfront design guide that seeks to protect vitality, visibility, and the visual amenities of the built heritage of the city.
The council refused planning permission after receiving objections from local residents.
Local resident, Kenneth O’Reilly claimed that the sign is the equivalent of “white noise” and “is extremely distracting and unsightly”. Mr O’Reilly dismissed the notion that the Panti Bar is a venue of cultural merit.
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