Tuesday 26 March 2019

O'Neill's Dublin 4 hotel faces appeals to planning

Emmet O'Neill
Emmet O'Neill

Gordon Deegan

A question mark has been placed over plans by Emmet O'Neill's Kouchin to build a new six-storey hotel in Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

Last month, in the face of local opposition, Dublin City Council gave the go-ahead to Kouchin Holdings to construct a 71-bedroom hotel at Donnybrook Rd and the Cresent, Donnybrook.

The investment firm was seeking planning permission for a 78-bedroom hotel but the number of rooms was then reduced to 71 in response to concerns about the scale of the development.

Mr O'Neill is a nephew of Denis O'Brien and in 2014 he sold his Smiles Dental business for €36m.

However, the businessman now faces a fresh challenge to building the hotel after two appeals were lodged to An Bord Pleanala against the granting of Kouchin's planning permission.

The two appellants are Donnybrook Tidy Towns and Paula Murphy.

In its initial objection against the plan, the Donnybrook Tidy Towns group claimed that the scale of the proposed development constitutes gross over-development of the site.

Their objection also claimed that Donnybrook village is not designed for, or capable of, taking on the extra traffic associated with the planned hotel.

In her objection, local resident Paula Murphy stated that the proposed building will be entirely out of place in that location and not in keeping with any of the surrounding structures.

Planning consultant for Kouchin, Kevin Hughes told Dublin City Council that the revised proposed development represents an appropriately-scaled development "which will not give rise to any undue impacts on the amenity of any adjacent properties in Donnybrook".

The application by Mr O'Neill's Kouchin to build the hotel is set against an industry landscape in which there is a significant lack of hotel accommodation available in the capital, as recently claimed by the Irish Hoteliers Federation.

Irish Independent

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