WEALTHY families will be able to holiday at the castle on one of Ireland's most jealously-guarded private islands – Lambay – in order to provide an additional revenue stream for its owners.
But under plans just submitted to Fingal County Council, the island four kilometres off the North Dublin coast will remain generally off-limits to the public and those without a large bank balance.
The Barings – the family behind the bank that was brought down by rogue financial trader Nick Leeson – have owned Lambay Island since 1904.
Alex Baring (43), who's the seventh Baron Revelstoke, sought planning permission last year to upgrade the island's infrastructure, including its sewage and electricity system.
He also wanted to make alterations to some of the numerous residences clustered on the island's western side. But the plans split the Baring family, with some objecting that Alex Baring was preparing to put the island on a commercial footing.
Mr Baring was asked by the council to submit additional information regarding his proposals for the island and has just lodged those documents.
"It is proposed that there will be a very limited and controlled level of commercial tourism on the island," Mr Baring's consultant said.
The consultant told the council that Mr Baring was willing to be limited by the council to renting out the castle on the island for a maximum of 70 nights a year.
But it could be some time before guests begin to arrive. The works at Lambay would start next year if permission is granted, but would be rolled out over a 10-year period.