Tuesday 17 September 2019

Four-star Dublin hotel faces planning appeals

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Gordon Deegan

Businessman Noel Smyth and fruit and vegetable distributor Begley's have stalled plans for a new four-star hotel on Capel Street in Dublin.

Last month, Dublin City Council granted planning permission to one of Northern Ireland's largest hotel operators, the Beannchor Group, for the 62-bedroom hotel.

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The Beannchor Group's firm, Cathedral Leisure Ltd, is seeking to transform a Victorian Boland's biscuit factory off Capel Street into the hotel.

However, N Smyth and Co Ltd and Begley's firm Seskin Investments Ltd have lodged appeals against the city council planning permission.

In the appeal lodged on behalf of N Smyth and Co, Tom Phillips & Associates stated that "our client owns a significant landholding that abuts the application site", and the proposed scheme "would have a long-term, materially detrimental effect on both the operation and development potential of its neighbouring properties".

The Smyth appeal contends that for the hotel to succeed, "it would effectively commandeer the development potential of its neighbouring properties, effectively rendering their air space unusable for potential future development".

Mr Phillips also lodged an appeal on behalf of the Begley firm and this echoes many of the concerns in the Smyth one. Originally, Cathedral Leisure's plan was to construct an eight-storey hotel, comprising 98 bedrooms, but it reduced the proposal in the face of opposition to a 62-bedroom hotel. The applicants reduced the height of the hotel from 28 metres to 14.9 metres.

Tom Phillips & Associates stated that the applicant had made a detailed attempt to address the council's and third-party concerns, but the proposal should be refused.

The council planner in the case stated that the proposal "would provide a unique four-star hotel, representing significant investment in a key under-utilised back land site". The planner stated that the proposal "would help to realise the objectives of the planning authority in relation to protection of the vitality of the city centre and provision of visitor accommodation within the city".

They recommended permission be granted as the proposal "would also regenerate and re-utilise existing dilapidated areas, with high-quality urban design, architecture and interior spaces".

The planner stated "the proposed development would transform the site and open it up to the public, creating a new destination with vibrant uses, and allowing visitors and members of the public to experience the currently concealed heritage buildings".

Irish Independent

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