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Friday 20 April 2018

Sports Direct in hot water over planning issues

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez and five of his players outside the Sports Direct store on North Earl Street
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez and five of his players outside the Sports Direct store on North Earl Street

Dublin City Council has issued an enforcement notice against sports retail chain Sports Direct over planning permission and signage issues.

The chain, which is owned by Newcastle United's owner Mike Ashley, opened a store in Dublin in May of this year.

The six-storey shop is located at the former home of Boyers on North Earl Street in the city centre.

However, the council has taken issue with a number of elements of the store's appearance.

Issues highlighted by the council included a new entrance on Cathedral Street, which didn't have planning permission; blue, red and white Sports Direct.com lettering attached to the store's front entrance; and further brand names and logos on the same sign.

Entrance

A number of other brands and advertising panels were also mentioned in a list of 10 issues raised by the council.

"Dublin City Council also requires the reinstatement of the shop front/entrance on ­Cathedral Street to its ­condition prior to its unauthorised ­removal and alteration," the enforcement document said.

However, no specific ­direction was given to Sports Direct in relation to the signage issues raised. The council has also said that the costs of the investigation will have to be paid by the company.

"You are required by Dublin City Council to refund the costs and expenses incurred by the local authority in relation to the investigation, detection and issue of this enforcement notice," the council said.

A deadline of Thursday, ­September, 28 has been given for the company's compliance.

The council warned that if steps were not taken within the deadline or within an extended deadline - which is a maximum of six months - then further action would be taken.

Enforcement

This could result in the council entering the lands and removing, demolishing or altering the structure.

Sports Direct did not reply to a request for comment.

Dublin City Council was also unavailable for comment on the matter.

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