Business Irish

Friday 18 October 2019

Hotel firm appeal over 'unfounded' plan ban

Planning stage: the hotel is to be built on the site of the former Andrews Lane Theatre
Planning stage: the hotel is to be built on the site of the former Andrews Lane Theatre

Gordon Deegan

A hotel firm has told An Bord Pleanála that the reason given for rejecting its plans for an additional storey on its Dublin luxury hotel is "unfounded".

Last month, Dublin City Council refused Appalachian Property Holdings Ltd planning permission to include an additional floor to an already granted eight-storey "compact luxury" hotel on the site of the former Andrews Lane Theatre near Dame Street in central Dublin.

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Last year, the firm secured planning permission for a 136-room eight-storey hotel on the site and, in a bid to maximise its return on the site, earlier this year, Appalachian lodged plans for a ninth floor as part of a scheme that would increase the number of hotel rooms to 156.

The total investment by the company, including the site purchase, is estimated to be around €21m. The firm has now demanded the appeals board overturns the council's ruling.

Brock McClure said visual impact refusal "is unfounded and the impact of the increased height and revised material treatment results in a positive impact on the surrounding environment".

The consultants added that to directly address the reason for refusal, the company is now proposing a further reduction in height of 300-400mm.

The firm says the Dublin City Council conclusion that the increased height would dominate the historic architecture is contrary to the national planning framework and building height guidelines "as it constrains the compact development of a brownfield, infill site located in the city centre".

The consultants added that "this approach is unsustainable and would set a negative precedent for appropriate development density on other sites close to the historic core".

Brock McClure also said Appalachian "considers that the hotel still requires an extension of facilities given the ongoing demand and bedroom shortage in Dublin city centre, particularly in close proximity to (city) landmarks".

Irish Independent

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