Northern Ireland

Newry TV screen faces uncertain future after planning permission quashed

Newry screen
Image caption The Catholic Church objected to the screen because of its proximity to St Colman's Cathedral

A controversial large TV screen in Newry may have to be removed after the High Court quashed the decision to approve planning permission.

The Catholic Church sought a judicial review after the screen was installed on Hill Street close to Newry Cathedral in December 2015.

The church said it was not consulted about the screen - and that was a breach of planning rules.

The Newry Reporter said that the court overturned planning approval on Monday.

The church was also awarded "reasonable costs" to cover its legal fees.

The screen had caused controversy when it was installed because of its close proximity to the cathedral.

Canon Francis Brown, from the cathedral, told the BBC that the church and parishioners were "delighted" with the court's decision.

"We had a number of issues with the screen," he said.

Image caption Canon Francis Brown said the church would oppose the screen remaining in place

"For one, it was in front of the most historic building in the city. It was also distracting from Masses and services held in the cathedral.

"Another issue was that people driving down Hill Street were seeing flashes on the screen and it was distracting drivers."

He said the matter would now be "re-determined by the council" but that the church would oppose any move to keep the screen.

In a statement, the council said: "As the decision was only taken on Monday, council officials have not had the opportunity to table the decision at a council meeting.

"This will happen in the near future and a full statement will be issued."

The screen cost approximately £120,000, with £40,000 being provided by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

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