Dublin City Council has said the decision to create a licencing system for businesses who wish to erect sandwich board signs outside their premises was taken due to their impact on pedestrians.

The local authority recently announced a €630 charge for the signs that will come into effect from 1 September.

The move has been criticised by an organisation representing businesses in the capital, which claims that the stringent licencing system will mean that the true cost to businesses is closer to €2,000.

DublinTown said the application requires the engagement of an architect and evidence of public liability insurance cover indemnifying Dublin City Council.

The organisation said members are conscious of the need to improve the pedestrian experience in the city centre.

However, DublinTown pointed out the "excessive amount of street signs, poles and the more invasive advertising stands from which Dublin City Council derives an income".

They said that these are a "much bigger issue for pedestrians".

DublinTown chief executive Richard Guiney said "businesses don't know how the fees have been derived or how architectural drawings, which include fire hydrants, lampposts etc., could possibly be required for permission to place a removable temporary sign outside their door." 

In a statement to RTÉ News, Dublin City Council said that 'Make Way Day 2018', organised by the Disability Federation, noted that sandwich boards created the biggest issue facing mobility and visually impaired people in the city.

The council said that rather than introducing a blanket ban on the boards, the licencing system will allow them to be placed in locations where they do not cause obstruction to pedestrians.

Boards that do not comply with the new licencing regime may be seized by the council.

The statement also said that the licence fees are not set by Dublin City Council.