Thursday 23 November 2017

Question mark over €40m St Stephen's Green hotel plan

The development received the green light in spite of objections from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Irish Georgian Society. Stock Image
The development received the green light in spite of objections from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Irish Georgian Society. Stock Image

Gordon Deegan

PLANS for a controversial €40m plan to convert Loreto Hall, a former 'young ladies' hostel on St Stephen's Green, into a luxury hotel have been thrown into doubt after an appeal was lodged over approval.

Last month, Dublin City Council gave Brown Table Solutions the go-ahead for the 87-bedroom hotel with restaurant and spa at 77 St Stephen's Green, which will involve building an eight-storey block to the rear.

The development received the green light in spite of objections from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Irish Georgian Society.

Another one of those opposed to the plan was Philip O'Reilly who now has appealed the Council decision to An Bord Pleanála.

At the very least, Mr O'Reilly's move will delay the project by four months. Mr O'Reilly has a Rathmines address and in his objection against the plan, he stated that "this proposal is a travesty to what is left of the unique architectural and historical heritage of this city".

Mr O'Reilly argued that the entire development is entirely unsuited "to this very unique and extremely restricted site" and that the planned nine-storey hotel "is way over the top".

However, the City Council planner in the case concluded that the proposal is unlikely to have an acceptable negative impact on the protected structure "and with appropriate conservation and repair will ensure a viable future use for the historic building".

Loreto Hall went on the market last year with a guide price of €5.75m. In 1911, it was bought by the Loreto Sisters to use as a hostel for young women from outside Dublin attending the National University at nearby Earlsfort Terrace.

Irish Independent

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