Thursday 25 April 2019

Emmet O'Neill readies Donnybrook hotel site for sale

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Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Businessman Emmet O'Neill looks set to proceed with the sale of a site with full planning permission for a hotel development on Donnybrook Road in Dublin 4.

The site, which is owned by his company, Kouchin, recently secured approval from An Bord Pleanála for the development of a 71-bedroom hotel, immediately adjacent to Donnybrook fire station.

The Irish Independent understands the former head of Topaz and founder of Smiles Dental has instructed Knight Frank to prepare the site for sale, with a view to bringing it to the market in the coming weeks. While Knight Frank declined to comment, market sources said they expect the site to command a guide price of between €6m and €7m. Efforts to contact Mr O'Neill for comment were unsuccessful.

The site had in the past been controlled by Partenay, an investment vehicle associated with Mr O'Neill's uncle, the billionaire businessman Denis O'Brien.

While Dublin City Council gave its approval to Kouchin for the hotel's development on August 15 last, the decision was appealed by a number of local residents. Some claimed the six-storey hotel would be "over-dominant" in the Dublin 4 village, while others maintained it would be "out of proportion to, and out of character with the surrounding built environment of Donnybrook".

A senior planning inspector from An Bord Pleanála said the new hotel would be "an appropriate and welcome addition to the streetscape views".

She said: "It is not accepted that the proposed development would give rise to noise disturbance that would significantly adversely affect the residential amenities of properties in the vicinity.

"The proposed development would not seriously injure the visual amenities and character of Donnybrook village, the residential amenities of adjoining properties or the integrity of historic properties within the residential conservation area in the vicinity."

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