Plans by Galway hoteliers, Kevin, Frank and Mary Flannery to construct an eight storey apart-hotel in an extension to the Ashling Hotel in Dublin have been turned down by Dublin City Council.
The eight-storey plan, which included 27 executive self-contained suites by the Flannerys' Foxfield Inns, involved the demolition of four vacant and semi-derelict buildings to make way for the large extension.
The Ashling Hotel enjoys a buoyant business from its proximity to Heuston Station and the apart-hotel was to have a new separate entrance to the Ashling hotel.
However, the plan has been turned down after the city council planners concluded that the proposal does not justify the demolition of the buildings on the site, all of which are of streetscape value and which include No. 6 Parkgate Street, which appears in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH).
The council also ruled that the proposed new building, by reason of its scale and elevational treatment, does not contribute positively to its character and distinctiveness or protect and enhance the character and appearance of the area and its setting. The council stated: "The proposal would therefore be contrary to development plan provisions and to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area."
The city council refused planning permission after An Taisce objected, claiming 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". The city council made its decision in spite of consultants for Foxfield arguing that the demolition of the buildings was justified.
The consultants stated that the proposed apart-hotel wasdesigned to provide accommodation to satisfy a particular demand for this type of accommodation in this city centre area. The submission stated: "The hotel is currently running at peak capacity and needs to expand. It cannot accommodate the numbers seeking accommodation."