An Bord Pleanála is considering a controversial decision by Dublin City Council to allow large billboards be erected at key sites in return for free bicycles.

The deal with JCDecaux is believed to be worth tens of millions of euro over a 15-year period, but the Council has declined to publish any details due to commercial sensitivity.

The company is one of the world's leading outdoor ad agencies.

In other European cities, like Lyon, the company has provided free bicycles in return for billboard space.

Two types of billboards are proposed, 70 freestanding large boards and 50 smaller boards. The larger ones may carry moving images and be illuminated at night.

However, the deal has angered some Dublin City councillors who say the executive did not provide critical information before the deal was done.

Other objectors argue a city like Paris is getting three times more bicycles than Dublin, while the larger billboards could be a safety hazard.

Another point of controversy is that An Bord Pleanála is only examining 25 proposed sites, rather than the full 120.