Aparthotel plans at landmark hotel are opposed
Plans to construct an eight- storey aparthotel in an extension to the Ashling Hotel in Dublin are being opposed by An Taisce and others.
The plan includes 27 self-contained suites but involves demolition of four vacant and semi-derelict buildings. It is backed by Galway hoteliers Kevin, Frank and Mary Flannery's Foxfield Inns Ltd.
The Ashling enjoys a buoyant business thanks to its proximity to Heuston Station.
An Taisce is recommending refusal and states that there is no justification for the demolition of the buildings. According to Kevin Duff of the Dublin City Association of An Taisce, "it is senseless to demolish existing, reusable historic building stock with so much dereliction and vacant, undeveloped sites along the Luas line".
However, in fresh documents lodged with Dublin City Council, consultants for Foxfield state that the demolition of the buildings is justified.
The consultants state that the proposed aparthotel is designed to provide accommodation to satisfy a particular demand for this type of accommodation in this city centre area.
The most recent accounts for Foxfield Inns Ltd show that it has deep pockets to fund the planned expansion.
At the end of December 2016, the company had accumulated profits of €44.4m.
It recorded pre-tax profits of €4.7m in 2016 after revenues increased by 7pc, going from €18.6m to €20m. Its cash pile at the end of December 2016 stood at €6.28m.
The company employs 178 and its directors shared €639,804 in pay. The company paid out dividends of €750,000 in 2016 and €600,000 in 2015.