Tidiness: General lack of clutter, blocked footpaths, redundant poles, unsightly overhead electric cables, absence of graffiti and fly-posting, and evidence of control of weed growth at kerbs. Absence of unsightly and / or inappropriate advertising, such as that on gables of buildings and mass produced advertising banners in shop fronts. Please note that although general tidiness is evaluated and marked in this category, tidiness is also considered under other categories including the Built Environment & Streetscape, Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes.
Tidiness, cleanliness, ordliness, uniformity / consistency of design, clearly organized and systematic approach to the appearance of the town.
The general “tidiness” of a town or residential estate is critical to the appearance of an area, outside of litter; there are other issues which contribute to an overall sense of place. We refer to general lack of clutter, signage, overhead wiring, graffiti, poles, weeds, and traffic management.
Items which are located on the footpaths – bollards, railings, poles should be maintained and painted and kept in a clean and safe condition.
Residential areas can also have clutter and tidiness issues, poorly painted railings, walls, poorly maintained estate name signage, weeds on kerbs, untidy presentation of gardens etc. which can be easily addressed by an active residents association.
Quite often we notice that there is a lot of clutter on our streets, ranging from litter bins, pay parking metres, ESB & telecom poles, bollards etc. and most of these are required at least to some extent. However streets are also cluttered by unnecessary advertising signage, by goods – which should be within the shop’s internal retail area being stored instead on footpaths, and obsolete fixtures and fittings which are no longer operational or needed. Unnecessary clutter causes obstructions on the public footpath, and detracts from the general appearance of the streetscape.
Excessive or Inappropriate Signage
While some signage is required for health and safety reasons, such as road and speed limit signs, and others for traffic management – directional signage, stop & yield signs etc., there is a tendency to have an excessive number of signs – particularly advertising signs in many localities.
Reducing the Impact of Overhead Wires
The sight of untidy, unsightly overhead wiring can significantly detract from the appearance of a landscape – whether urban or rural. The technology now exists to successfully underground service wiring – as is the case in most of the Residential Estates built over the last twenty years or more. But it’s not just the wiring, towers (in rural areas) and poles on the urban streetscape are just as intrusive, and solutions need to be found to eliminate the need for poles.
Graffiti can be a significant issue in urban areas, and the so called “form of artistic expression” can blight areas and buildings, resulting in significant costs on the property owner who may have to incur the cost of repainting the whole of their property.
The need for an approved and well thought out Traffic Management Plan being enacted by the Local Authority is critical to reducing congestion, traffic jams, and ensuring that inconsiderate persons are not permitted to park improperly or illegally.
Weed and Plant Control
Weed control in urban areas can be somewhat difficult, and if business removed weeds from outside their premises, and every residents group cleared weeds from within and without their estate. Regular maintenance can reduce the need for using weed-killer, however if weds are widespread, the use of an organic or chemical week control may be required.