Neon signs, visible sex-shop paraphernalia and gaudy shopfront displays are to be banned from Dublin’s Capel Street under a new city council initiative to revamp the area. The council intends to clean up to street by giving it special conservation status to protect the heritage, architecture and character of the area. The Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) designation means that there will be much tighter planning controls in relation to properties on Capel Street. Owners will not be allowed to make any material changes to their buildings without seeking permission and will also have to obtain permission for advertising signs both projecting and flat against the buildings. The council will seek the reinstatement of architectural features; illuminated signs or scrolling illuminated signs will not be permitted except in exceptional circumstance; “inappropriate or garish colours” will not be allowed; there can be no amplified announcements from shops; and goods or advertising structures will not be allowed on the footpath. The council will also refuse to allow satellite dishes on the front of buildings and alarm boxes, wiring and TV aerials will have to be discretely located to comply with the designation. About 30 per cent of the buildings on Capel Street are already on the Record of Protected Structures. The ACA designation will give the rest of the street similar status.