Dublin City Council refuses permission for Dr Martens Grafton Street sign

Council says allowing the sign would set an undesirable precedent for similar-type development

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 Martens AirWair shopfront application for its 89 Grafton Street outlet, the council has concluded that the shopfront would result in an undesirable precedent for similar-type development and depreciate the value of property in the vicinity.

The Irish arm of Dr Martens Airwair was seeking planning permission for its main facade signage to read “Dr. Martens”.

The firm lodged its planning application last September but the 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 that the 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”.

In an initial submission on behalf of Dr Martens 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”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times