Thursday 23 January 2020

Plans for Wicklow Arms modified by new owners

The Wicklow Arms
The Wicklow Arms

Mary Fogarty

Revised plans for the Wicklow Arms site have been approved by Wicklow County Council, almost three years after an Bord Pleanála upheld an application made by previous owners.

James and Barbara O'Gorman applied in July 2019 to modify permission previously acquired by Cruslim Property Limited. Wicklow County Council sought further information in September, and granted the permission in November.

Previously, permission was granted for the demolition of the existing single storey dance studio/office building, and demolition of a two-story building to the rear of the Wicklow Arms pub, as well as the construction of 22 residential units and retail, office and restaurant space.

The 160-year-old Wicklow Arms public house itself is a protected structure.

Under the original plans, the residential component of the scheme comprised of 12 three-bed house units, and 10 apartments.

The modified scheme consists of the omission of the previously granted three-storey unit of 10 apartments and two ground-floor retail units.

The existing extensions to the Wicklow Arms are no longer to be demolished. The O'Gormans have applied for change of use of a first-floor extension from restaurant to retail, including off-license use.

No change of use at ground floor, currently restaurant, bar and off-license, is proposed.

Some minor alterations to the rear facades include roof lights, canopy entrance to retail unit, removal of double door and provision of windows, removal of existing external steps and provision of stepped approach to the rear.

The site has been sub-divided with the applicants purchasing the southern part of the site. The northern part of the site, containing the 12 houses is being developed separately by Unicorn Real Estate Limited.

There was disappointment in the village in March 2017, when An Bord Pleanála upheld the previous planning permission.

Delgany Community council, Bellevue Court Residents' Association and a number of individuals had appealed permission granted by Wicklow County Council.

Some of the objections to the plans at that time included access for houses through Bellevue court, the height of the development, and the demolition of cottages on the site.

The Wicklow Arms pub building in Delgany village dates back to 1858, when it was used as a coach house.

From the 1880s it traded under the 'Newel's Hotel' moniker, before taking on the Wicklow Arms name. Its original front section is a listed building.

Due to its proximity to Ardmore Studios, which opened in 1858, the pub has hosted major Hollywood names such as Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole during its trading days.

Liz Taylor and Richard Burton also visited the pub during the filming of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold in 1963.

Bray People