Business Irish

Sunday 22 April 2018

Cork villager appeals Dublin hotel expansion

The hotel is close to Dublin Airport. Stock image
The hotel is close to Dublin Airport. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A RESIDENT of the tiny west Cork village of Ballylickey has appealed a decision to grant permission for a multi-million euro, five-storey extension to a hotel near Dublin Airport owned by Tifco.

Objector James Wharton has claimed the project will create unsustainable additional traffic and that the bigger hotel will impede enjoyment of the adjoining Santry Park.

Mr Wharton has also requested an oral hearing from An Bord Pleanála. Tifco applied for planning permission last November to add 60 new bedrooms to its Santry property which is close to the airport.

That would see the number of bedrooms at the hotel rise to 269.

Fingal County Council approved the plan at the end of February. In a one-page submission to both the council and An Bord Pleanála, Mr Wharton claimed that the proposed development is "excessive" and "inconsistent with the enjoyment of the facilities at Santry Park". The park adjoins the hotel. He also claimed the extension would "interfere" with the skyline.

Contacted by the Irish Independent, Mr Wharton said he had no comment.

Mr Wharton is understood to be originally from Cork.

Pressed as to why, as a resident of Ballylickey, he had objected to a hotel development on Dublin's northside more than 300km away, he again declined to comment.

Tifco owns and operates close to 30 hotels in Ireland and is the country's second-largest hotel group after Dalata.

In 2016, Tifco also took over the company that operates the Travelodge franchise here.

The hotel group is backed by Goldman Sachs and is partly owned by Aidan Crowe and DID owner Gerry Houlihan. Mr Houlihan and his family also owns Clontarf Castle in Dublin, which is managed by Tifco.

Last month, Tifco was formally put up for sale with a price tag estimated to be in the region of €600m.

Goldman Sachs has been an investor in Tifco since 2014, when it bought the hotel group's debt from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank.

The sale of Tifco will include properties around the country and the new owner will also have the option to pre-fund a new 392-bedroom hotel on Dublin's Townsend Street.

Tifco owns 18 of the hotels in its portfolio and manages the remainder, which include the Heritage Resort at Killenard in Co Laois and the Metropole in Cork.

It also owns sites for two new hotels in Dublin.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business